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MATT Bowen was the hero for the North Queensland Cowboys after they defeated the Brisbane Broncos 28-26 in front of a 43,171 at Suncorp Stadium.
The dynamo fullback scored a try in the final minute of the match to enable Johnathon to kick for the lead only seconds our from full time.
Bowen was both his side's best and worst asset in gritty win for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys continued their trend of drawing first blood against the Broncos with Dallas Johnson scoring the opening try in only the fifth minute. Johnathon Thustan added the extras to give his side a six-point-lead.
Despite conceding an early try the Broncos maintained a high intensity in the opening minutes of the match and it almost paid off in the tenth minute when Justin Hodges was held up over the try line by four Cowboys players.
The Cowboys had no chance of stopping Jharal Yow Yeh three minutes later, the young winger was on the receiving end of a messy cutout pass from Sam Thaiday. Corey Parker added the extras to level the scoreline.
The following passage of play saw the Cowboys' play lose composure as the match progressed.
A penalty goal in the 24th minute gave the Broncos the lead for the first time in the match.
The Broncos did not hold onto the lead for long, surrendering it in the only four minutes later when James Segeyaro scored on the back of a Matt Bowen strip on Josh Hoffman. Thurstan added the extras again.
The Cowboys were over again six minutes later with former Bronco Brent Tate scoring courtesy of a Johnathon Thurstan kick. Thurstan's conversion was not as accurate, keeping the Cowboys' lead to eight going into the break.
It was all the Broncos immediately after the break as they capitalised on their opponents errors.
The opening try of the half came in only the 42nd minute after Matt Bowen knocked on trying to clean up a Peter Wallace kick. A racing Josh McGuire scooped up the loose ball and raced 10 meters to score. Parker added the extras.
The Broncos were over again only five minutes later on the back of a couple of unforced errors and penalties from the Cowboys. It was Gerard Beale who scored the pointer, diving over in the right corner after receiving a brilliant pass from Jack Reed. Parker nailed the sideline conversion to give the Broncos a four-point-lead.
Once again it was not long before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when Bowen redeemed himself with a four pointer in the 55th minute. Thurstan added the extras to give his side the lead.
Both sides struggled to hold onto the ball in the next passage of play, as they failed to complete their sets. It was the Broncos who were finally able to string something together in the 69th minute with Ben Te'o scoring on the back of a brilliant set from his side. Parker added the extras to give his side a four-point lead again.
An error by Gerard Beale in the 78th presented the Cowboys with an opportunity to reclaim the lead and Bowen was up to the task. The 30-year-old fullback scored straight off the back of the scrum to level the score. Thurstan added the extras to give his side the lead with only 30-seconds to go in the match.
The Broncos attempted a short kick off in the hope of having one final dig at the Cowboys' line, but a knock on by Yow Yeh laid to rest any ideas of a late comeback.
Both coaches will have a lot to work through with their sides during their week, following the mistake riddled match full of wasted opportunities.
Brisbane Broncos 26 were defeated by North Queensland Cowboys 28
National Rugby League - Round 2 - Friday March 9, 2012 8:45pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Gavin Reynolds
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Ricky MacFarlane and Michael Wise
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 8 North Queensland Cowboys 16
BRISBANE BRONCOS (26)
Tries: Jharal Yow Yeh, Josh McGuire, Ben Te'o, Gerard Beale
Conversions: Corey Parker (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Corey Parker (1/1)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (28)
Tries: Brent Tate, Matt Bowen (2), Dallas Johnson, James Segeyaro
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (4/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag = #NRLbrinql.
You can also discuss the match with thousands of other fans in our Game Day Forums - click here. Good evening folks and welcome to Suncorp Stadium where the Brisbane Broncos take on the North Queensland Cowboys.
We have fine conditions in Brisbane at the moment and the good weather should stay with us for the match.
Neil Henry has announced his late changes for the match. Back rower Glenn Hall is out with an injury and will be replaced with Corey Paterson.
The Broncos are unchanged 1-17.
In the Toyota Cup the Bronco's under 20s side defeated the Cowboys 26-20.
1 min: We are underway at Suncorp
8 min: Penalty against Brent Tate and the Broncos will get a piggyback up the field.
6 min: TRY
Dallas Johnson opens up the scoring at Suncorp courtesy of a beautiful cut out pass from Aaron Payne . Thurstan's conversion is successful.
North Queensland Cowboys 6-0
11 min: Hodges is held up in goal by by four Cowboys' players, but the Broncos have a few more sets up their sleeve.
13 min: Hoffman makes a 30 metre kick return and the Broncos are right in the Cowboys' half again.
14 min: TRY
Thaiday throws a cutout pass which hits the turf and bounces into the arms of a charging Jharal Yow Yeh who scores. Parker's conversion from the right touchline is successful.
15 min: Penalty against the Cowboys and the Broncos will have an opportunity to score back to back tries.
17 min: Ray Thompson makes a massive break up the field and is eventually tackled by Hodges 26 meters out from the try line, however Thompson's hard work is undone when Matthew Bowen's pass is intercepted.
19 min: Cowboys receive a penalty 10 out from their own line.
20 min: Thurstan spills the ball just a meter out from halfway.
22 min: Cowboys will get another piggyback up the field after the Broncos are penalised.
23 min: Ashton Sims knocks on just inside the Broncos' half, the Cowboys are losing their composure here.
24 min: The Broncos get a penalty and Corey Parker is lining up to take the two.
25 min: Peter Wallace is pinned for a forward pass right on halfway.
27 min: Possible try to James Segeyaro for the Cowboys.
28 min: TRY
Benefit of the doubt TRY! Josh Hoffman cleans up a Thurstan kick which hits the upright and Bowen is there to strip the ball. Segeyaro is there to pick up the ball and score. Thurstan adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 12-8
31 min: Back to back penalties for the Cowboys and they're only 12 out from the try line.
32 min: Gerard Beale knocks on attempting an intercept and the Cowboys will get a scrum ten out.
32 min: Brent Tate might have a try for the Cowboys here.
35 min: TRY
Jonathon Thurstan goes to the air and Ashley Graham leaps above the back and bats the ball back over his head to Brent Tate who dives in to score. Thurstan misses the conversion.
North Queensland Cowboys 16-8
36 min: Cowboys get another penalty as the Broncos are pinned for being inside the ten.
37 min: Alex Glenn dives on a loose ball 15 meters out from his own line to take the pressure of his side.
38 min: Cowboys receive a penalty 30 out from the Broncos line and will get another chance at the Broncos line before halftime.
40 min: Ashley Graham spills the ball with the try line looming.
41 min: Jonathan Thusrtan brings us under way in the second half.
42 min: TRY
Matthew Bowen makes a mess of cleaning up a Wallace kick and Josh McGuire is there to pick up the loose ball and run ten metres to score. Parker adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 16-14
44 min: The Broncos receive a penalty and will get a piggyback up the field.
45 min: The Broncos receive another penalty, this time it's 30 out from the Cowboys line.
46 min: The Broncos get six again only ten out.
48 min: TRY
Gerard Beale scores in the left corner, courtesy of a great pass from Jack Reed on the last tackle. Conversion attempt from Corey Parker is successful.
Brisbane Broncos 20-16
50 min: Antonio Winterstein loses the ball 20 out from his own line and the Broncos will get another shot at the Cowboys' line.
51 min: Peter Wallace knocks the ball on just short of the try line.
52 min: The Broncos are penalised for an infraction in the play the ball and the Cowboys will get some good field position for the first time in the half.
53 min: Segeyaro loses the ball just inside the Broncos' half.
55 min: TRY
TRY! Matt Bowen scores for the Cowboys after Sam Thaiday rushes out of the line to put pressure on Jonathan Thurstan, Thurstan offloads to Bowen who races through the gap and scores. Thurstan adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-20
24 min: PENALTY GOAL
Parker's boot is golden and he nails the penalty goal.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-6
61 min: The Broncos will get a scrum 20 out from the Cowboys' line.
62 min: Thaiday loses the ball a few meters out from the line.
67 min: Both sides are making too many errors here.
69 min: TRY
TRY! A great set for the Broncos culminates in a try for Ben Te'o and hands the lead back to Brisbane. Conversion by Corey Parker makes it 8 from 8 for the season.
Brisbane Broncos 26-22
74 min: The Cowboy will get a line dropout after Josh Hoffman is trapped in goal.
75 min: Ashton Sims loses the ball and the Broncos are off the hook.
77 min: Ray Thompson puts up an attacking bomb on halfway and Beale spills the ball.
79 min: TRY
TRY! Matt Bowen scores a try straight from the back off the scrum. Thurstan adds the extras.
North Queensland Cowboys 28-26
80 min: The Broncos go for a short kick off and Yoh Yeh knocks it on. That's the match.