North Queensland Cowboys came from 30-18 down to beat Brisbane Broncos 34-30 with a late Coen Hess try on Sam Thaiday’s 300th NRL appearance.
After Jamayne Isaako got the Broncos rolling early with a penalty, North Queensland hit back quickly. Te Maire Martin kicked in behind for a rampaging Gideon Gela-Mosby.
When Darius Boyd dropped the ball cold on a kick return, Jason Taumalolo continued his try-scoring form and the Cowboys’ great start. But James Roberts’ intercept try kick-started the Broncos. Matt Lodge’s eight-point try gave Brisbane the lead.
Thurston’s second penalty and then a 55-metre penalty from Kyle Feldt right on half-time gave North Queensland an 18-16 lead at the break.
Isaako quickly levelled the scores after half-time before Korbin Sims crashed over to give Brisbane the lead. Then Tevita Pangai jnr rumbled into the backfield and stepped Martin to score.
Feldt and Gavin Cooper scored two tries in three minutes to bring the Cowboys back to within two points with 13 minutes to play.
Then with three minutes to play, Thurston’s kick found Hess who won it for the Cowboys.
Cowboys: Martin, Feldt, Gela-Mosby, Linnett, O’Neill, Clifford, Thurston, Scott, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo; Interchanges: Hampton, Asiata, Jensen, Bolton
Tries: Gela-Mosby, Taumalolo, Feldt, Cooper, Hess; Goals: Thurston 6, Feldt
Broncos: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Shibasaki, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Mago, McCullough, Thaiday, Glenn, Fifita, Ofahengaue; Interchanges: Lodge, Sims, Staggs, Pangai jnr
Tries: Roberts, Lodge, Sims, Pangai jnr; Goals: Isaako 7
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.