Canterbury Bulldogs 12
Tries: Brown, Jackson
Goals: Hodkinson 2/2
North Queensland Cowboys 20
Tries: Wright 2, Winterstein
Goals: Thurston 4/5
North Queensland Cowboys waited until Round 19 for their first away victory of the campaign and they then made it back to back wins on the road with a hard earned 12-20 victory over Canterbury Bulldogs.
They also recorded their first win at ANZ Stadium since 2006 to end a nine game losing streak at the stadium in a win that boosted their hopes of finishing in the top eight and making the finals.
On the other hand the Bulldogs are left reeling as they slumped to back to back defeats which has now dented their hopes of a minor premiership.
The Cowboys went agonisingly close to opening the scoring through Matthew Wright who just couldn’t ground the ball inside the field of play before up the other end of the field, fast hands out wide put Mitch Brown in for the opener to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead.
Tautau Moga came up with a crucial try saver on Tim Lafai as he looked certain to extend the Bulldogs lead.
That was made even more significant when the Cowboys were next to score through Matthew Wright, his first score of the night came from a scrum when Morgan offloaded to the winger before he stepped inside to score.
Four minutes later Wright was in for his second as a perfect Jonathan Thurston kick bounced generously into the hands of the on-rushing Wright for him to put his side ahead.
Just before half-time Thurston kicked a penalty goal to send the visitors into the sheds with a 6-12 lead.
Thurston was having a great night and he produced a spectacular cut out pass which fooled three Bulldogs defenders before finding its way to Antonio Winterstein who was left with a simple finish.
The game was on a knife edge when a no look pass from Hodkinson was charged onto by Josh Jackson who crashed over to put the home side within six points.
Llyod Perett went close to levelling the scores however the determined Cowboys defence held him up over the line.
The Bulldogs were throwing all they could at the Cowboys and were let down by Sam Kasiano who needlessly held onto Thurston in the tackle to give him the easy task of knocking over the penalty to end their hopes of a comeback.
The Bulldogs will need a big turnaround in Round 21 to try and clinch a place inside the top four while the Cowboys will be looking to take their current momentum into the closing stages of the season to book a place in the finals.