Shaun Johnson was the hero for the Warriors as they marched to their third straight victory in an epic 25-24 golden point thriller over the North Queensland Cowboys at Moreton Daily Stadium.
The Cowboys came into this match with a point to prove after a disappointing performance against the Roosters last week. There would be no doubting Todd Payten would've been pleased with his side's start to the contest when Tom Dearden slipped through some ordinary Warriors defence to score the game's opening try. However, the visitors would quickly return to their 2021 ways with poor discipline and their inability to defend their errors. Shaun Johnson took on the Cowboys' defence and fired a lovely pass to Jesse Arthars who hit a lovely hole to hit back for the Warriors. With Reece Walsh's conversion, the home side had an early 6-4 advantage.
The home side's poor discipline would cost them dearly, a high tackle from Reece Walsh allowed the Cowboys to level the scores. Off the ensuing set, Addin Fonua-Blake couldn't handle the grubber kick and it allowed Scott Drinkwater to score possibly the easiest try of his career and extend the visitors' advantage to a converted try. From there, the Warriors slowly began to settle in the match and began imposing themselves on the Cowboys' goal line. However, the play broke down and was intercepted by Murray Taulagi who linked up with Valentine Holmes to sprint well over 70 meters before Marcelo Montoya chased down the former NFL star. From there, the Cowboys shifted the ball to the right before Kyle Feldt scored untouched and it appeared the visitors would begin to dominate. However, Chanel Harris-Tavita nailed a 40/20 and the work of in-form forward Josh Curran to step past some woeful defence to put the home side within a converted try at the break.
North Queensland's start to the second 40 was abysmal, it began with a poor kickoff recovery from Murray Taulagi. From there, Kodi Nikorima ran through a gap bigger than Sydney Heads to put the Warriors back at level pegging, which was remarkable considering the visitors' total domination of the opening 40. New Zealand's poor discipline allowed the Cowboys to retake the lead through the wonderful lead-up work of their spine to allow Valentine Holmes to outmuscle Reece Walsh to slam the football down and retake the lead. Valentine Holmes potted over a penalty goal to put the margin out to a converted try.
New Zealand found a way to tie the football game up after a lovely pass from Chanel Harris-Tavita to Euan Aitken to score and lock the game back up at 24-24. The final ten minutes were a frantic display of football, with the Warriors having three attempts of field goal all missing sending the match to golden point. By the time the Cowboys' Chad Townsend missed his shot, the Cowboys were fatigued and allowed the home side to race down the field and Shaun Johnson (on the fourth attempt) nailed the field goal to break the hearts of the Cowboys.
Next week the Warriors try and make it four in a row against the Sydney Roosters, while the Cowboys try and end their losing streak against the Canberra Raiders in Canberra as their spell in QLD comes to an end.