The Newcastle Knights have reversed a 14-point half time deficit to emerge with a crucial 32-26 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in front of 15,408 fans at EnergyAustralia Stadium, meaning the Cowboys are the latest team to fall out of the Top 8 race.
The Knights were the first to strike in this high-quality match when Akuila Uate set up a try for veteran centre Adam MacDougall before the Cowboys had even laid their hands on the ball. That was to be their only bright spot in the first half though as the Cowboys, superbly led by their mercurial halfback Johnathan Thurston, crossed four times before the break with Thurston grabbing two tries of his own.
The 22-8 halftime score had the Cowboys sitting pretty but the second half saw a very different Knights side emerge from the sheds. Two quick tries reduced the Cowboys lead to only two points before the visitors suffered another blow with the loss of fullback Matt Bowen to a knee injury. Knights halfback Jarrod Mullen then produced two moments of individual brilliance to score one try and set up a second, and all of a sudden the home side were up by ten points with fulltime approaching fast.
The Cowboys managed to grab a late try to reduce the margin to an achievable six points, ensuring a helter-skelter last minute of play that saw Adam MacDougall find himself on report for a tackle that injured Travis Burns - although it appeared that Ben Rogers was the primary culprit. The Cowboys couldn