The North Queensland Cowboys have recorded their second win of 2018 in convincing fashion, albeit with a disappointing finish, to run out 26-14 winners. Full Report to come.
Justin O'Neill knocks the ball from the Titans grasp and despite the efforts of the visitors to pack the scrum, the game finishes with North Queensland claiming a much-needed win.
Michael Morgan finds touch and unless the Titans can score twice in 67 seconds, the Cowboys are set to break their five game losing run.
Ben Hampton manages to take possession and it would appear likely that the brief fire of a comeback from the Titans has been extinguished.
Kyle Feldt takes his time with the kick-off, but Konrad Hurrell manages to safely take possession.
Gordon adds the extras.
The Titans have been dreadful tonight, but there remains a chance of something miraculous.
Surely not?! The Titans have come to life.
The Titans are awarded a last tackle penalty after Ash Taylor was denied the opportunity to chase his kick.
Gordon converts. A comeback remains unlikely.
Mitch Rein creates space for his halfback who is able to sprint 30 metres to give the Titans an air of respectability.
Lachlan Coote cleans up an Ashley Taylor and based off of this performance, the Cowboys are looking a lot more like the side expected to go one better than last season.
Coen Hess spins and weaves through the Titans defence, but his offload to Kyle Feldt is astray.
Tyrone Roberts-Davis comes up with an error that may be the worst of the night - off the scrum he loses possession!
Coen Hess races away, but the referee deems an error from the Cowboys in the lead up.
The Titans are awarded the 22nd penalty of the night and the two captains are brought into the principal's office.
Kyle Feldt tries to add another try, but he's unable to maintain possession of Ben Hampton's bat back.
Thurston takes the Cowboys over halfway.
In a similar position from the first try of the night, Thurston is unable to get the required swing.
The Australian 'Ivan Drago' breaks the Titans defence and kills off any hope the Gold Coast have of winning this game.
On the next play, a shift to the right sees Coen Hess charge over. We'll confirm with the bunker.
Antonio Winterstein takes a great catch in goal and allows the Cowboys a rare seven tackle set.
Mitch Rein tries to catch the Cowboys by surprise, but the home side have the former Dragons and Panthers rake covered.
Titans earn a penalty after Te Maire Martin gives away another penalty.
Te Maire Martin puts a terrible kick in and doubles up on his mistake by giving away a crusher tackle penalty on Ashley Taylor.
The Titans concede another penalty and while there defence hasn't been as dismal as their showing against the Dragons, there performance tonight has been awful.
The Titans have been made to pay for their poor handling and Jarrod Wallace's lack of composure.
Adding another two points, the Cowboys have surely sealed a much-needed two competition points.
He's been under intense criticism for his performances during the Cowboys run of losses, but tonight Johnathan Thurston has delivered a tour-de-force showing.
Running onto a beautiful pass from the other JT, Taumalolo seals the deal for the Cowboys.
Jarrod Wallace comes up with an error and compounds the issue by conceding a penalty for dissent.
The crowd reaction suggests Michael Gordon knocked on, but play has been allowed to continue.
In a play indicative of the Titans performance, Ashley Taylor places his kick intended for Tyrone Roberts-Davis over the sideline.
Kevin Proctor runs into a gap, but JT is on the spot to cut the Kiwi forward down.
The Titans are awarded a penalty.
Early diagnosis on John Asiata is a dislocated shoulder - the Samoan representative will not return.
Ash Taylor tries to isolate Anthony Don with a cross field chip, but JT is on the spot to clean up for the home side.
Jack Stockwell replaces Ryan James for the Titans.
Scott Bolton is on the spot to clean up a Titans tap back - play will resume with a goal line drop out.
Keegan Hipgrave takes his first charge of the evening.
No Try. Lachlan Coote deemed to be offside and active in the play.
John Asiata is off the field.
The referee has referred play to the bunker, but it seems highly unlikely that the Cowboys have scored.
Ben Hampton makes a great run, but there is concern for the welfare of John Asiata.
In the only competitive aspect of this match so far, the number of errors (16) leads narrowly ahead of penalties (15).
Corey Jensen is the latest player to lose the ball.
Phillip Sami loses possession and in keeping with the first half, ball handling has been diabolical.
Michael Morgan is unable to clean up a short ball and the Titans are presented with a solid chance to post their first try.
The referee halts play for the second time of the half to ensure players play the ball on the mark correctly.
Coen Hess throws an offload that narrowly is cleaned up by the Cowboys.
Max King collects Lachlan Coote in a tackle around the legs.
The Titans allow the kick-off to bounce, but Konrad Hurrell manages to clean up.
Both sides are back on the field.
In a first half punctuated by 15 penalties and 13 errors, two late tries from the Cowboys sees the home side take a convincing lead into the sheds.
From the sideline, Thurston misses his first attempt of the half as the Cowboys are met with rapturous applause as they make their way up the tunnel.
A superbly worked play to the right sees Feldt cross with 2 seconds left on the clock.
The Cowboys will get a scrum 10 metres out.
Michael Morgan bombs for Michael Gordon and gets a result.
The Cowboys outside backs take a few carries as the countdown to halftime begins.
The Titans manage to clean up a bouncing ball as the Cowboys complete after scoring.
Jake Granville takes another dashing run.
From close to the sideline, JT hooks the ball back to extend the Cowboys lead.
John Asiata delivers a pass befitting a halfback to put the Cowboys utility into clean space to open the try scoring.
Bryce Cartwright is on for the visitors replacing Will Matthews.
Ashley Taylor kicks the ball out on the foul. Penalty to the Cowboys.
Ethan Lowe is on the field for his 100th appearance in first grade.
Adding a further two points, the Cowboys push their lead out to 4.
Ryan James takes a stalling tactic with the referee to help his recover as JT sets up to extend the lead with another 2 points.
Ashley Taylor concedes a penalty.
Jake Granville sprints downfield and the Cowboys are on the attack.
A bizarre last-play option sees Max King deliver a cut-out pass forward to Michael Morgan.
Jason Taumalolo pressures Kane Elgey in a strong tackle.
John Asiata loses possession and if it weren't so tragic the lack of completion from both sides would be comical.
Corey Jensen is on for the Cowboys.
Konrad Hurrell knocks Johnathan Thurston down in a poorly executed attacking play. Penalty to the Cowboys for obstruction.
The Titans get a penalty - after 27 minutes we've had 12 penalties.
Jason Taumalolo loses possession and crucially the side that posts points fails to complete after scoring.
The Cowboys are awarded another penalty.
Taking the lead for the first time in some weeks, JT adds the extras.
Will Matthews collects Coen Hess high. The Cowboys decline the opportunity to press the Titans defence and elect to take the points on offer.
Another penalty to the Cowboys.
The Titans lose possession after Jason Taumalolo makes amends for his earlier mistake.
John Asiata is on the field for Matthew Scott, while Max King replaces Jarrod Wallace.
To make matters worse for the Cowboys, they concede a penalty.
Jason Taumalolo looks to exploit a Gold Coast defender one-on-one, but ends up losing possession.
Thurston finds touch from a penalty and the home side will resume play inside the Titans half.
Ashley Taylor manages to get a bounce from his bomb and through some enterprising play, Tyrone Roberts-Davis chips and chases, but Lachlan Coote is able to clean up.
The Cowboys successfully complete a set after posting points.
After a short lived lead from the Titans, the Cowboys draw the scores level at 2-all.
JT elects to level the scores with a penalty goal.
A great low tackle from Jake Granville lodged the ball free of Hurrell's grasp.
Kyle Feldt gets play back underway, but on the second tackle Konrad Hurrell loses possession and compounds the error by giving away a penalty.
The former NSW representative nails the conversion to give the Titans first points of the evening.
Michael Gordon will step up to open the scoring with a penalty goal.
The Titans elect to take the points on offer.
The Cowboys look to play some expansive football, but end up losing the ball just short of the halfway line.
An energetic, yet slightly hesitant opening to the match from both sides as they look to establish a platform.
Jai Arrow goes close to scoring, but ends up losing possession within inches of the tryline.
The Cowboys nullify a Titans attacking raid with Justin O'Neill knocking the ball down. Titans scrum.
Penalty to the Titans - Matt Scott deemed to be in front of the referee.
Matt Scott loses possession as he crosses into the Titans half. Titans scrum.
Ashley Taylor targets Lachlan Coote with his last play kick, however the Titans' chasers are deemed to be inside the 10 - Cowboys penalty.
Lachlan Coote kicks on the last as the Cowboys complete another set.
Both sides have fired attacking shots early.
Kane Elgey delivers a cut-out pass intended for Tyrone Roberts-Davis, however the pass ends up in the grandstand.
The Bunker has deemed Kevin Proctor was obstructed during the lead up - NO TRY.
The referee will check with the bunker regarding an obstruction, but watching the play live it appeared as though Lachlan Coote simply delivered a beautiful pass for his centre to streak away.
Justin O'Neill is claiming a try.
The Cowboys will start a set inside the Titans half.
Gavin Cooper gets an offload away and the Cowboys draw a penalty to boot.
Taylor bombs for Lachlan Coote who does a good job of gathering in possession despite pressure from three Gold Coast chasers.
The Cowboys complete their first set and hand the Titans possession inside their own 30 metre zone.
Ashley Taylor kicks off and Scott Bolton takes the first run of the night.
Johnathan Thurston takes the Cowboys onto the field to rapturous applause from the North Queensland faithful. Kick-off is moments away.
Ryan James leads the Titans out onto 1300SMILES Stadium.
Ethan Lowe will play his 100th match for North Queensland. The former Roosters Under 20s backrower made his debut for the Cowboys in 2013, in a sign of symmetry, against the Titans.
In recent times the Cowboys have dominated recent clashes against the Titans, having won the past five meetings dating back to 2014.
This is the 20th meeting between the two clubs. North Queensland hold the overall record over the Gold Coast (11-8); while of the ten fixtures contested in Townsville, the Cowboys have won seven.
Currently sitting narrowly outside the top eight, the Titans have enjoyed a promising start to the year following Garth Brennan’s appointment as coach, with a 50% success rate over the opening quarter of the regular season.
The Cowboys come into tonight’s fixture on the losing end of five consecutive matches, their worst run in first grade since the middle of 2013, in desperate need of turning their fortunes around after recording their worst start to a season since 2004.
Both teams are as per program, 1-17.
Welcome to League Unlimited’s coverage of Round 7 Saturday Night Football between the North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Referees & scorers:
Referees: Grant Atkins, Alan Shortall
Touch Judges: Drew Oultram, Rohan Best
Video Referee: Ashley Klein, Bryan Norrie
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (26)
Tries: Ben Hampton, Kyle Feldt, Jason Taumalolo, Coen Hess
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/4)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (3/3)
GOLD COAST TITANS (14)
Tries: Ashley Taylor, Jarrod Wallace
Conversions: Michael Gordon (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Michael Gordon (1/1)