NRL 3 years ago

Thurston pens own script in Cowboys win

  • Thurston pens own script in Cowboys win
  • Thurston pens own script in Cowboys win

Superstar playmaker Johnathan Thurston claimed his fairytale premiership with North Queensland and many will say he wrote the script.

In the most extraordinary climax to an NRL season this century, Thurston slotted the winning field goal two minutes into extra time to give the Cowboys a heart-stopping 17-16 triumph over the brave but vanquished Brisbane Broncos.

The historic first all-Queensland grand final also delivered the historic first golden-point decider.

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And after a decade of trying, Thurston, the fans' favourite, delivered North Queensland their maiden premiership in the club's 21st year in the competition.

It was truly the night State of Origin came to Sydney without the Blues and spectators didn't care as they savoured a grand final for the ages.

Brisbane for all money appeared set to land their first title since 2006 as they entered the final minute with a 16-12 advantage.

But a try after the fulltime siren to Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt gave Thurston his first shot at glory.

Amid unbearable tension, his sideline conversion hooked round but struck the right upright.

It didn't take long, though, for his second chance after Thurston's opposite Ben Hunt cruelly knocked on from the golden-point kick-off.

This time there was no mistake as Thurston nailed the drop goal to spark scenes of delirium in the Cowboys camp.

The Broncos slumped to the ANZ Stadium turf in despair.

The defeat denied super coach Wayne Bennett an eighth triumph from as many grand finals and also brought down the curtain on Justin Hodges' distinguished career.

The retiring Brisbane captain had been hoping to join modern-day greats Ray Price, Mal Meninga, Terry Lamb and Glenn Lazarus in making the ultimate farewell from the game.

But this was not Wayne Bennett's or Justin Hodges' night.

It was Thurston's as the Immortal in waiting added the Clive Churchill Medal and an elusive Cowboys premiership to the unprecedented fourth Dally M Medal he was awarded last Monday night.

A crowd of 82,758 was on hand to witness the most dramatic conclusion to a grand final since referee Bill Harrigan sensationally awarded Melbourne a match-winning penalty try to deny St George Illawarra the title in 1999.

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