The Canberra Raiders have taken their first victory in Townsville in a decade with a hard fought 18-8 victory over a poor Cowboys side in Townsville.
The first half was a story of nearly but not certainly for both sides with just a try a piece despite both sides having a number of chances to take control of the half.
North Queensland had chance after chance deep in the Raiders half in the opening 15 minutes but they couldn't find the magic touch with the last pass quite often being putting down. The Cowboys finally cracked the Raiders line on the 15 minute mark when a set play between Johnathan Thurston and Gavin Cooper came together with the Cowboys ran through a gap that was left open by Siliva Havili rushing up out of the line.
Canberra then started to force their way back into the game and off a string of penalties they got into their best attacking position of the game and it was Josh Papali'i who got the Raiders on the board with a hard run straight at the Cowboys defence under the posts which was very soft and the big man had a 4 pointer.
Both sides tried to hit back with a second try of the half but the Cowboys fell short again with the Raiders getting some luck and right on the stroke of half time the Raiders were denied by Henry Perenara and the bunker with Nick Cotric putting his foot into touch before he could get to the ingoal area.
The second half scoring was opened by a Johnathan Thurston penalty goal when Joseph Tapine was ruled to have stayed in and around the ruck for too long according to Henry Perenara. The Raiders hit back almost instantly when Aidan Sezer got his first try of the season when a gap opened up in the Cowboys defensive line in about the same spot Cooper went through in the first half.
The hosts again had a number of chances but the Raiders defence was up to task pulling off some big hits and giving the Raiders momentum to get a rare victory in Townsville. The win was secured with just a handful of minutes to full time when Siliva Havili got over the line but hopes were dashed when Henry Perenara ruled a live decision of No Try yet replays showed the Raiders hooker got the ball to the ground and the try was given. The Raiders looked to ice the victory as the siren went with Jarrod Croker crossing the line but the bunker overturned the live decision of try and knocked back final points.
Next weekend the Cowboys task gets arguably harder with a visit to regional New South Wales on Friday night when they visit Bathurst for a clash with the second placed Panthers, whilst the Raiders are back in the national capital with a home clash against the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.