Cowboys forward Josh McGuire.

A surprise visit from his family to go with a gutsy victory in Auckland means Josh McGuire's 200th NRL Telstra Premiership game is one he's unlikely to forget in a hurry.

The Queensland enforcer marked his entry to the '200 Club' with a strong performance for the Cowboys, as they picked up their second win of the year 17-10 in a come-from-behind victory against the Warriors.

Post-match McGuire told NRL.com the occasion was made all the more special by the presence of wife Tanyssa and kids Maiya, 5, and Maxon 3, in the crowd at Mt Smart Stadium.

"My wife surprised me and told me late in the week that she was coming over. It was a fair effort from her to get the two kids from Townsville because she had to do two flights by herself and get her own hotel and everything," McGuire said.

"It's something very special. To win and have them here, I won't forget that.

"It's always nice to share special things with special people, and there's nobody more special to me than my kids and wife."

McGuire played the full 80 minutes and was arguably the best player on the park, running for a game-high 220 metres and making a team-high 42 tackles.

North Queensland coach Paul Green said there was no doubt McGuire, who also tasted victory in his 50th and 100th games, was spurred on by the occasion.   

"It was a huge effort from him. I think he was ready for a big effort regardless of what happened out there, and he certainly delivered that for his teammates," Green said.

"Two hundred NRL games is a great achievement, so you want to remember those games for the right reason and I think he was determined to do that tonight.

"The best part about a milestone game like that is everyone digs in for that person and makes it memorable for him, and I think tonight will be that [for him]."

The production from the Cowboys pack was a key difference on the night, as North Queensland twice overcame deficits on the scoreboard to end the Warriors five game unbeaten streak at home.

Five of North Queensland's starting forwards ran for over 100 metres, compared with just two for the Warriors, with Green quick to compliment the effort.

"Through the middle I thought they all probably [stood up]," Green said.

"Matt Scott, I thought he was really good tonight, particularly in his second stint. Jordan McLean got us going forward when he went on there.

"I thought they all did… it was a good team effort.

"We showed a fair bit of toughness in our defence, particularly at the start of the second half when we put ourselves under a bit of pressure.

"I'm not prepared to say it's turned our season around, but it's certainly a good start.

"I think last week was a step in the right direction, but it's good we built on that and it's important we continue to do that."