The North Queensland Cowboys have done enough to beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 20-6 at 1300SMILES Stadium.
For the second week in a row the Rabbitohs attack yielded them only one try, while the Cowboys managed to get back into the winners circle without hitting their best.
After 20 minutes of arm-wrestle football that saw both sides go close on multiple occasions, Johnathan Thurston was the man to break the deadlock with a penalty goal in the 20th minute.
After holding out for back-to-back repeat sets the Cowboys marched down the field, put on a repeat set of their own and scored through Michael Morgan.
The Cowboys put on the second try of the night in scintillating fashion, after Lachlan Coote tapped the ball on to Gideon Gela-Mosby, who crossed untouched to make it two tries from two games to start his career and giving the Cowboys a 14-0 lead at half-time.
The game seemed to take a turn for the worse for the visitors after Robbie Farah failed to take the field in the second half due to a back complaint, but the Rabbitohs controlled possession and took only eight minutes to cross. It was Robert Jennings who scored off sharp ball movement down the left side of the field and Adam Reynolds converted to bring the score to 16-6.
The arm-wrestle resumed, with both teams unable to push the ball into their opposition's red-zone, despite a line break from Michael Morgan, who was rounded up by Cook and brilliantly driven into touch.
It was the Cowboys who proved they had the stamina, with Shaun Fensom taking a short pass from John Asiata to crash over next to the posts and stretch the Cowboys' lead back to 14.
The Rabbitohs looked like they would answer back after a 70 metre intercept, but the visitors dropped the ball on the following play. The Cowboys went just as close off a spectacular run of play that included three kicks, but were penalised for being offside.
The Rabbitohs' unhappy run in attack continued as they made another attacking error in the Cowboys' red-zone, once again allowing the Cowboys off the hook. Neither team was able to convert any more opportunities into points, as errors crept into the game.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys 20 (Michael Morgan, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Shaun Fensom tries; Johnathan Thurston 4 goals) def Rabbitohs 6 (Robert Jennings try; Adam Reynolds goal) at 1300 SMILES Stadium. Half-time: 14-0. Crowd 13,671.
First published on NRL.com.