South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
Tries: Picker, Johnston
Goals: Reynolds 1/1, Luke 0/1
North Queensland Cowboys 22
Tries: Taumalolo, Feldt 2, Winterstein
Goals: Thurston 3/5
North Queensland Cowboys recorded a second 2014 victory over South Sydney Rabbitohs with a 10-22 win to deny Souths top spot and send them sixth in the ladder to keep them in prime position to finish in the eight.
Jonathan Thurston produced another master class as his flawless display led the Cowboys to a second victory at ANZ Stadium to put their hoodoo behind them and end the Rabbitohs run of five straight victories.
All the build-up was about Souths going top with a victory after Manly slipped up on Friday night however, the pressure seemed too much for Inglis and co. as the Cowboys took two huge competition points to keep them two points clear of the Broncos.
The Rabbitohs will assess an injury to Adam Reynolds as he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem and they will hope his season isn’t over.
The Cowboys were on top early on and could have put the Rabbitohs under big pressure but instead took a 0-2 lead when Dylan Walker’s high tackle gave Jonathan Thurston an easy shot at goal.
Greg Inglis’ break threatened to change the games momentum however Jonathan Thurston was in control of the game and it was his perfect inside ball to Jason Taumalolo which unlocked the Souths defence and sent him over for the opener.
They kept their foot on the gas and stretched their lead to 12 points when Thurston came up with another brilliant pass, dummying inside and out before throwing a long ball to the returning Kyle Feldt out wide to score.
The midway point of the second half saw Souths calm the Cowboys storm as they got to grips with the game. That was until Feldt crossed for his second when he found a gaping hole in the defence as he came back inside, which upon further inspection looked to have been caused by an obstruction on McQueen.
Jonathan Thurston hit the post with his conversion attempt as the Cowboys took a comfortable 0-16 lead into the break.
Souths came out flying in the second half and were camped on the Cowboys line before a controversial video referee call denied them from getting on the board. Adam Reynolds stabbed a kick into the in-goal and Luke Keary chased it all the way before getting a hand to the ball just before it hit the dead ball line however, the video referee wasn’t convinced.
Just as Souths looked to have the momentum the Cowboys punished them once again for their mistakes as Michael Morgan flew onto a turn up play and fired a pass to the unmarked Antonio Winterstein out wide. Thurston’s conversion made it 0-22 and gave the Rabbitohs a huge job to comeback.
The Rabbitohs needed an immediate response and that’s what they got when a last tackle play was kept alive twice before Joe Picker forced his way over and grounded to get some points on the scoreboard for the home side.
The Cowboys ground out the rest of the game as the Rabbitohs were their own worst enemy at times coming up with plenty of errors.
Alex Johnston managed to get over for his 16th try of the season though as Dylan Walker jumped to the blind side from dummy half and found the winger in space out wide.
They couldn’t mount a late comeback as the Cowboys, led by the incredible Jonathan Thurston, took all two points in a dominant 10-22 victory at ANZ Stadium.