North Queensland have their second win at home and in 2014, after a six try scoring bonanza over the Newcastle Knights in a 28 points to 2 victory in front of 11,189 fans at 1300 Smiles Stadium.
Coming into tonight we were faced with a contest between the 15th and 16th placed sides in the competition which no one would have suspected coming into this season. There was a glimpse why in the opening twenty minutes, as both sides were guilty of being wasteful with possession. Newcastle though were able to post a penalty goal after Rory Kostjaysn was pinged.
Johnathan Thurston was at his energetic best tonight and had a hand in a majority of the Cowboys' tries tonight. The first try though came from his halfback partner who chipped a cross-field kick to Matthew Wright making his first start for North Queensland who had all the time in the world to put down the ball.
This effort seemed like to click the Cowboys of late 2013 into gear - as they scored twice more between the 20th and 30th minute to put the Knights almost in the rear view window in the contest. Brent Tate was slightly fortuitous for his effort after it rebounded off Michael Morgan's knee into his gleeful hands.
There was nothing fortuitous in Morgan's effort in the 28th minute though, as he was on the end of a sweeping backline movement led by Thurston to get his first of his tries either side of the halftime break.
Morgan was the recipient in his earlier try but his second in the 49th minute was more a solo effort. He stabbed through a kick that caught everyone including Morgan himself wrong-footed before he crawled to his own kick to turn the light out on the Knights in the contest and making it a Ritchie Benaud pleasing 22-2 scoreline.
Ray Thompson got himself on the scoresheet with the Cowboys final four pointer after a glut of errors and penalties from the Knights gave the home side repeated possession in their half. Thompson went for a simple dart forty metres out, beat the two initial markers and was away for the score.
Newcastle continue their road trip next weekend as they travel to the nation's capital to face a fellow mercurial side in the Canberra Raiders while North Queensland also go on the road, for a blockbuster contest against high flying Wests Tigers.