Johnathan Thurston marked his 300th NRL game with a win as North Queensland defeated Cronulla Sharks 20-14.
After Chad Townsend gave Cronulla an early lead through his boot, the Cowboys hit back with two tries in three minutes through Justin O’Neill before try-scoring forward Coen Hess took North Queensland’s lead out to eight along with Thurston’s conversion.
Cronulla got back to 10-8 when Townsend’s grubber was snatched by Josh Dugan, debuting for the Sharks, who strolled in. But the Cowboys extended their lead to six through Kyle Feldt after a looping Te Maire Martin pass.
North Queensland notched a two-score lead early in the second half when Cronulla were caught offside and Thurston nailed the easy penalty.
After much Cowboys pressure, the Sharks got back within two when Ricky Leutele intercepted a Martin pass before feeding former-Rhino James Segeyaro who finished the final 30 metres.
Thurston capped his milestone game with a try-assist for the clincher when he grubber kicked for Gavin Cooper.
Cowboys: Hampton, Feldt, O’Neill, Bowen, Winterstein, Martin, Thurston, Scott, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Lowe, Taumalolo; Interchanges: Hess, Bolton, Asiata, Jensen
Tries: O’Neill, Hess, Feldt, Cooper; Goals: Thurston 2
Sharks: Holmes, Feki, Dugan, Leutele, Katoa, Moylan, Townsend, Fifita, Brailey, Prior, Capewell, Graham, Bukuya; Interchanges: Gallen, Segeyaro, Seumanufagai, Paulo
Tries: Dugan, Segeyaro; Goals: Townsend 3
Full match reports from all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express