Full Time
7:50pm Thu August 29, 2019
Round 24 - 1300SMILES Stadium - Crowd: 15141

Match Overview

The North Queensland Cowboys have farewelled 1300Smiles Stadium in style with a hard-fought 15-8 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs on Thursday night. 

While the Bulldogs' season was technically still alive heading into the match, the unlikely combination of results that had to go their way meant that in a competition sense this clash had little meaning. 

But a combination of circumstances meant that there was still just as much riding on the result. 

Scott Bolton kicked the final conversion in a fitting end to the 32-year old's last game at the ground while the number eight jersey made famous by retiring legend Matt Scott was retired. 

The emotion of it all spurred the Cowboys to victory in a game they could have very easily lost given the resistance they faced from a gritty Bulldogs side fighting to keep their unlikely finals hopes alive.

Halfback Lachlan Lewis, at an individual level, epitomised the determination that had powered Canterbury to four-straight wins. Lewis came up with three key one-on-one tackles on men much bigger than him while the Bulldogs as a whole continually defended their line with grunt. 

In the end the couldn't contain a spirited Cowboys side, with Michael Morgan and Scott Drinkwater causing havoc late. Morgan proved the match-winner when he took on the line and threw it back inside, the loose ball pounced on by Shane Wright. 

While there weren't many tries it was still an enthralling contest with both sides locked at two points apiece heading into the sheds. The Bulldogs looked to have scored the opening try of the game when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak steamed onto a Kieran Foran kick but replays showed slight separation. 

It was the Cowboys who went over first through Kyle Feldt after creating an overlap on the edge before Jayden Okunbor crossed for the Bulldogs in similar circumstances five minutes later.

Jordan Kahu then later snapped a field goal before Wright sealed the victory in front of over 15,000 joyous Cowboys fans. 

North Queensland's season comes to a close next week against Melbourne while the Bulldogs host Brisbane.

3. Michael Morgan

Tough to get a read on that one. Lots of great defenders out there. But in terms of busting the game open, Morgan was the one who looked the most likely in the late stages.

2. Josh Jackson

Inspirational knock in defence and also threatened in attack with strong line running.

1. Jason Taumalolo

Lachie Lewis deserves a shout out here with great work in defence. But JT made important runs throughout the game, managing over 170 running metres.