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Raiders defence stands tall to upset Cowboys

A resolute defensive effort from start to finish saw Canberra beat an out-of-sorts North Queensland 18-8 on Saturday night in Townsville.

The Cowboys, who are now 2-6 after eight rounds in the Telstra Premiership, scored the first points of the evening after 16 minutes – thanks to the trusted combination of Johnathan Thurston and Gavin Cooper.

The rangy back-rower ran on to a short ball from his co-captain, with the Raiders defence unable to stop the Maroons State of Origin hopeful close to the line.

With 26 minutes on the clock, Canberra hit back.

A no-look pass from hooker Siliva Havili found a rampaging Josh Papalii, who crashed over under the sticks to level up the contest at 6-6.

Thurston then pushed the Cowboys out to a two point lead early in the second stanza when Ricky Stuart's men conceded a penalty for tackling a player without the ball.

Match Highlights: Cowboys v Raiders - Round 8, 2018

With the game in the balance, the Raiders got into the grind and eventually seized control.

A penalty against Coen Hess swung the momentum, with Aidan Sezer scoring a classy four pointer on 52 minutes to see the score 12-8 in favour of the visitors.

A solo effort at dummy half from man of the match Havili at the death put the Raiders up by 10 points with five minutes to play, a margin the Cowboys couldn't reel in.