The North Queensland Cowboys have posted back-to-back wins for the first time in 11 months after holding off the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-18 at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
Establishing a match-winning lead with a strong start to the second half, the Cowboys proved too strong for a Bulldogs side reduced to 12 men after Jack Hetherington was sent from the field for a high tackle.
In a first half littered with errors from both sides, the Cowboys opened the scoring through Kyle Feldt (6th minute) who leapt above his opposite winger to touch down in the corner.
Responding a few minutes later after a nicely-timed offload from Hetherington, front-rower Renouf Atoni (12th minute) made the most of his starting opportunity to power over underneath the posts.
With both teams squandering opportunities close to the line due to a lack of patience and execution, the score remained locked at 6-all at the change of ends.
Coming out of the sheds with a renewed sense of energy, Reece Robson (44th minute) darted out from dummy half to put the home side back in front.
Extending their lead following the introduction of Jake Granville early in the second half, the replacement hooker sent Ben Condon (52nd minute) over for his second try in as many weeks.
With 25 minutes remaining, Hetherington became the first player sent off this season after collecting Valentine Holmes around the throat on a kick-return.
Taking advantage of their opponent's 12-man defensive line, Holmes showed no ill effects of being collected high to send Granville (59th minute) over for the match-clinching try.
Reducing the deficit to 24-12 after Sione Katoa put in a beautiful grubber for Kyle Flanagan (63rd minute), a try to Tui Katoa (69th minute) a few sets later saw the Bulldogs come right back into the contest.
Coming close to tying the game up only for Nick Cotric to be ruled offside from a kick, the Bulldogs fight back amounted to little as Mitch Dunn (78th minute) used his footwork to ice the win for the home side.
Next week, the Cowboys host the Raiders on Saturday evening, while the Bulldogs take on the Sharks earlier on the same day.