North Queensland Cowboys held on to defeat Gold Coast Titans 32-26 in the all-Queensland NRL clash between the two clubs at Cbus Super Stadium.
The Titans, with former St Helens star Joe Greenwood again on the bench, have been dogged by slow starts in recent games, and they again suffered from allowing their opponents to get ahead early.
The Cowboys to race out to a 10-0 lead after 19 minutes but the Titans replied to lead 12-10 after 32 minutes.
Tries to brilliant young winger Gideon Gela-Mosby on debut and Kalyn Ponga saw the Cowboys ahead 20-12 at half-time but it was Coen Hess’s two late tries that enabled the Cowboys to secure victory.
The Titans replied with two late tries by Dale Copley on his Titans debut and Daniel Vidot, but they finally ran out of time.
Titans: 9 Tyrone Roberts, 2 Tyronne Roberts-Davis, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Daniel Vidot; 6 Kane Elgey, 7 Ash Taylor; 8 Jarrod Wallace, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor (c), 12 Chris McQueen, 13 Agnatius Paasi. Subs: 16 Leivaha Pulu, 17 Joe Greenwood, 18 Max King, 19 Karl Lawton.
Cowboys: 1 Kalyn Ponga; 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Javid Bowen, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Gideon Gela-Mosby (d) ; 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c); 8 Patrick Kaufusi, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Ethan Lowe. Subs: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 John Asiata, 16 Shaun Fensom, 17 Sam Hoare.
Full reports from all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.