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Cowboys celebrate 600 game milestone

On March 11, 1995 Laurie Spina led the inaugural North Queensland Cowboys side on to what was then Stockland Stadium for the club’s historic first game in the NSWRL, now 25 seasons later new skipper Michael Morgan will lead the Cowboys on to 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the landmark 600th game in club history.

To celebrate the occasion takes a look back at the other milestone games in club history, which include monumental performances from some of the biggest stars ever to pull on a North Queensland jersey.`

GAME 100 – Round 17, 1999

Cowboys 32 def. Sydney Roosters 18 at the Sydney Football Stadium

Skipper Noel Goldthorpe booted six goals from seven attempts to lead the Cowboys to their first-ever victory against the Roosters. In six previous attempts, the Cowboys had barely come close to the Roosters, but Tim Sheens’ side finally broke the duck in front of a meagre crowd of just 4,029 at the SFS. Hooker John Doyle, winger Brian Jellick, centre Damien Smith, second-rower Shaun Valentine and a 19-year-old Scott Prince all crossed for tries. It was one of just four victories for the 1999 Cowboys, who finished 16th out of 17 teams, only above the struggling Western Suburbs.

GAME 200 – Round 16, 2003

Sharks 34 def. Cowboys 28 at Dairy Farmers Stadium

A double to centre Ty Williams wasn’t enough for the Cowboys to overcome a strong Cronulla side. Star fullback Matt Bowen and lock Glenn Morrison also crossed, but it was the boot of Josh Hannay which kept the Cowboys in the contest. Hannay booted six goals from seven attempts as the Cowboys fought back from a 22-8 half-time deficit but eventually fell to the Sharks in front of almost 14,000 fans. NSW and Australian utility Phil Bailey scored a double for the Sharks.

GAME 300 – Round 12, 2007

Cowboys 26 def. Sharks 24 at Dairy Farmers Stadium

Ty Williams kept up his reputation of starring in big games, crossing for a double just as he did 100 games earlier. Centre Scott Minto, winger Neil Sweeney and a young interchange forward by the name of Matt Scott also bagged tries. New Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston booted three goals from five attempts as the Cowboys capitalised on a 16-8 half time lead in front of a bumper crowd of 20,075. One of the brightest stars in rugby league at the time, Sharks five-eighth Greg Bird scored two tries in a barnstorming performance.

GAME 400 – Round 14, 2011

Sea Eagles 24 def. Cowboys 4 at Brookvale Oval

Easily the unhappiest night for Cowboys fans on this list, an Origin and injury-decimated Cowboys outfit were thrashed by Manly at Brookvale. Ash Graham scored the only Cowboys try, while Gavin Cooper missed the conversion, one of just six shots at goal the Cowboys legend has registered in his career to date. Halfback Michael Morgan and interchange forward Scott Bolton were the only other current Cowboys to appear in the match. Brett Stewart scored a double for Manly, with Jamie Lyon booting four goals from as many attempts.

GAME 500 – Round 11, 2015

Cowboys 8 def. Wests Tigers nil at Campbelltown Stadium

Winger Antonio Winterstein scored the only try of the game with three minutes remaining to hand the Cowboys a club record eighth consecutive victory. A severely depleted Cowboys side missing both co-captains Thurston and Scott as well as prop James Tamou to State of Origin duty, the Cooper-led Cowboys produced a stellar defensive effort to keep the Tigers scoreless. Winterstein’s try came on the back of an error from Tigers fullback James Tedesco, with Cowboys centre Kane Linnett swooping on the loose ball and offloading to his winger. Ethan Lowe booted the conversion and an earlier penalty goal.