Matthew Scott and Johnathan Thurston have fired the North Queensland Cowboys to a famous 27-14 win over their nearest rivals Brisbane in front of 21,340 fans at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Both sides started with plenty of fire, each crossing the line in the opening minutes only to be held up by desperation in defence from their opposites. Rory Kostjasyn on Matt Gillett stopped the Broncos opening the scoring, before Gillett held up Michael Morgan.
Scott opened the scoring for the Cowboys with a rollicking burst up the guts - the Cowboys then doubled that with a sharp break from Morgan put Kane Linnett into space. Amongst all this Johnathan Thurston left the field with a head knock, not returning til just before halftime. North Queensland held a 14-0 lead going into the break.
Six minutes into the second stanza Jack Reed latched on to a wayward Thurston pass on his own 10m line, sprinting to halfway before finding Daniel Vidot, who made it to the Cowboys 20m line before being dragged down. The Broncos merely played the numbers for Ben Hunt to score in the corner moments later and the visitors were finally on the board. Reed looked to have brought Brisbane right back into it after chasing down a Barba chip ahead, however the video referee analysed the situation and found Reed had overshot the ball.
Hunt rectified the error on the hour mark, bringing the margin back to just four points with a show-and-go, before the Cowboys lifted the tempo and crossed through Ethan Lowe after forcing a repeat set. The hosts then conceded through Dale Copley out wide before Thurston potted a field goal to push the leading margin to seven with two minutes remaining. A late try to Rory Kostjasyn gave North Queensland breathing space and a final margin of 13 points.
Next week Brisbane play on (surprise, surprise) Friday night when they host the Titans in another Queensland derby, while the Cowboys' Women in League Round clash happens on Saturday night against the Roosters, again in Townsville.