Parramatta has held off a fast-finishing Cowboys side to register a crucial 24-16 win at CommBank Stadium tonight.
Star halfback Mitchell Moses was the hero, scoring the match winning try with minutes remaining, after a late double from Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt set pulses racing for the home fans late in the match.
It was a solid win for the Eels, who looked in control but it took until the final minutes to break away from a determined Cowboys effort, who showed much more resolve than last weeks thrashing at the hands of the Wests Tigers.
Despite coming into the match as the underdogs with the bookies, it was North Queensland who struck first through Scott Drinkwater following a nice offload from Heilum Luki close to the tryline. Chad Townsend converted and the visitors led 6-0 early in the match.
Parramatta returned serve when in-form five-eighth Dylan Brown produced a deft pass close to the line for a bustling Wiremu Greig, who crashed over for the Eels first try and Greig's first in the NRL. Mitch Moses converted to level the scoreline at 6 all.
The home side continued to dominate possession, as the Cowboys scramble defence continued to turn up again and again to share the lead at halftime.
The game continued to be an arm wrestle after the break, and it wasn't until Eels flyer Maika Sivo touched down for the Eels second try following some slick hands from Clint Gutherson and Bailey Simonsson that the game began to open up.
Parramatta then switched their skills to the other wing and again some slick hands from Gutherson saw Sean Russell slide over to score in the corner and extend the Eels lead to 18-6 with fifteen minutes remaining.
North Queensland wouldn't go away however and got back into the contest late, when Drinkwater threw a long pass to Kyle Feldt which saw the Eels defence rush up and allow the former Queensland winger more than enough room to slide over in the corner.
Feldt then had his second try minutes later and again it was Drinkwater who was the provider and the Cowboys were coming home with a wet sail.
With the game on the line, Cowboys prop Coen Hess then inexplicably produced an offload on the first tackle from the kickoff, which was dived on by J'maine Hopgood and gave the Eels the chance they needed.
Moses then iced the game, earning a repeat set and produced a classy right foot step off an Eels scrum to score the matchwinner for Parramatta.
The Eels now enjoy the bye before they face their fierce rivals Canterbury in Round 15. While North Queensland will return to Townsville next Sunday where they host the Melbourne Storm.