Thurston seals golden-point win
A golden-point field goal by co-captain Johnathan Thurston has handed the Cowboys their first win of the season with an 18-17 victory over the Melbourne Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium.
It was the second field goal for the number seven for the night after he levelled the match 17-all right at full time.
The early advantage headed the way of the Storm after a charge-down forced the Cowboys back into defensive mode.
From that set of six, the Storm swung the ball wide out the back, catching the North Queensland boys out of position for Kurt Man to open the scoring.
Cameron Smith made it 6-0 converting the try.
The tide changed quickly after a Matt Scott tackle saw the ball dislodged 10 out from the Storm line.
From the first tackle they sent it to the backs and a Johnathan Thurston cut-out pass found Antonio Winterstein for the winger to go over untouched to make it 6-4.
A huge defensive effort saw the Storm trapped in their own half as the home side got two repeat sets, but no points would come from their efforts.
An attacking raid down the left by the Cowboys at the 29th minute mark ended badly as Marika Koroibete intercepted the pass to run 80 metres and extend the Storm's lead to 10-4.
A poor play of the ball resulted in the visitors being handed possession 20 out from the Cowboys line, and six minutes before the break, Felise Kaufusi barged through to rack up their third try of the half and give the Melbourne side a 16-4 lead.
There were better signs in attack by the Cowboys at the start of the second with Michael Morgan slicing through the defensive line but he was pulled down short.
The Cowboys continued to pile on the pressure with Thurston forcing the Storm in goal for their third drop-out of the night.
From that set the Cowboys sent the ball left and it was the Kane Linnett/ Antonio Winterstein combination that again proved a winner, as the winger went over for his second.
Thurston converted to make it 16-10.
But despite some big gains up the midde by Jason Taumalolo, who would finish with 209 metres from his 20 hit-ups, the Cowboys couldn’t convert their pressure into points.
Melbourne, who had won two of their last three, worked the ball downfield for Cooper Cronk to slot the field goal to give them a seven-point advantage.
But in the dying moments, Melbourne were found short on the right and Matthew Wright crossed as Thurston converted to make it 17-16 with two minutes left.
The game was a long way from over as Thurston slotted the one point to send it to golden point.
The Cowboys co-captain had first crack at the win with it shying left of the uprights.
Cronk also missed with his attempt, until four minutes into extra time Thurston slotted the winner.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 18 (A Winterstein 2 M Wright tries J Thurston 2 goals J Thurston 2 field goals) def Melbourne Storm 17 (F Kaufusi M Koroibete K Mann tries C Smith 2 goals C Cronk field goal). Crowd: 11,609.