Fri 10 March 2017
Suncorp Stadium - Crowd: 47703

Thurston guides Cowboys to another epic derby win

Brisbane and North Queensland have played out yet another epic one-point extra-time thriller - the fourth time in their last five contests - with the 2015 premiers coming away 21-20 victors thanks to an 88th minute Johnathan Thurston field goal.

As is their wont, these two teams looked destined to play out a classic from the outset - fireworks smoking and a wobbly kickoff seeing Darius Boyd not win the race to the ball, instead the Cowboys gifted the opening set of attacking football with Gavin Cooper picking up the scraps.

The visitors' failure to capitalise became costly in the sixth minute when James Roberts opened the scoring for Brisbane, putting the Broncos up 4-0 with an apparently injured Jordan Kahu missing the conversion.

The Cowboys took until the quarter-mark of the match to hit back, gliding ahead 6-4 after Coen Hess (who replaced an injured Antonio Winterstein minutes earlier) barged over, Thurston's conversion putting his side ahead and helping him join fellow Queenslander Cameron Smith in passing 2,000 premiership points, just two hours after the Australian captain had done so.

From there the visitors' discpline began to let them down, and they were made to pay around the half hour mark with two penalty goals seeing them slide behind by two. Anthony Milford, having assumed the kicking duties for a sore Kahu, piloted both two-pointers between the uprights and in the 34th minute when Ben Hunt set up a try for Darius Boyd with a clever grubber, the Broncos looked in control.

Not willing to let their sunshine-state counterparts take such control, the Cowboys were able to hit back just before the break with a try to Michael Morgan - Thurston converting to reduce the halftime margin to just two.

The sides traded tries in the twenty minutes post-halftime as well, Jake Granville dotting down for Paul Green's men before Kahu crossed to level the scores, albeit of a controversial forward pass missed by the match officials.

At 18-all, predictions of yet another golden point finish were awash on social media - something Thurston wasn't keen for, opting to go ahead by two points when presented a penalty in the 61st minute close to Brisbane's line.

Shift forward to the 72nd minute and on the back of two penalties, the Broncos opted to shoot for goal when in range and levelled things at 20-all.

Despite their best efforts, both sides couldn't snap that deadlock before the siren sounded and yes - again - we were headed to golden point.

The first five minute period of extra time was all Brisbane - crucial errors from the Cowboys repeatedly inviting the hosts to attack and get in field-goal range. Milford had several attempts, either going wide or charged down, and eventually the visitors forced an error, playing out the set just before the change of ends.

North Queensland eventually gained the ascendency in the first minutes after the extra time halftime break, and eventually found themselves in good enough position

Next week the Broncos are off to Melbourne for another bumper clash against the Storm at AAMI Park on Thursday night, while the Cowboys are off home to Townsville where they'll host Manly on Saturday night at 1300SMILES Stadium.

3. Johnathan Thurston

Self explanatory thats all. Kicked the winning Field goal, destroyed the defence, also a cherry on top got into the 2000 point club

2. Jason Taumalolo

With this tank rolling through your defence you should get some allies. Taumalolo destroyed the defence and didnt look tired at all throughout the game. Made 260 odd running metres and 60 odd post contact metres.

1. Anthony Milford

Didnt give up at all throughout the game, missed his 2 field goal attempts but didnt fall back and kept on pushing, took over goal kicking duties