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Cowboys' extra-time NRL win over Broncos

NZN 10/03/2017 Laine Clark

Who else but Johnathan Thurston?

Another thrilling chapter has been added to the blockbuster NRL Queensland rivalry, with the Cowboys' co-captain's field goal sealing a 21-20 extra-time win on Friday night over Brisbane.

Something had to give after the Queensland derby went into extra time for the fourth time in five clashes.

Enter Thurston.

A week after a duffed field-goal attempt led to the Cowboys' opening-season win, Thurston made no mistake when he stepped up in the 88th minute to bring the 47,703-strong Suncorp Stadium crowd to their feet.

That man Thurston again broke Brisbane hearts, just like he had in the unforgettable 2015 grand final.

It capped a memorable night for Thurston.

The Cowboys' playmaker became only the sixth player in Australian rugby league history to crack the 2000-point barrier when he converted a 19th-minute try by a barnstorming Coen Hess.

But the thrilling win came at a cost.

Returning North Queensland winger Antonio Winterstein lasted just 13 minutes before he left the field with a suspected broken forearm.

Prop Matt Scott left the field with a suspected facial injury with barely 10 minutes to go.

And they will sweat on wrecking ball back-rower Jason Taumalolo after the Dally M Medallist's 26th-minute hit on Brisbane's Alex Glenn.

The match review committee is expected to look at his high shot on Glenn that gifted Brisbane a penalty to level at 6-6.

Brisbane also didn't emerge unscathed.

Test back-rower Matt Gillett (concussion) was lost by the 49th minute, while reserve Tevita Pangai Jnr went down with a hamstring complaint.

Brisbane levelled the scores again at 18-18 after winger Jordan Kahu scored in the 54th minute off what appeared a clear James Roberts forward pass.

Thurston could be seen arguing with officials after Anthony Milford's penalty kick locked it up.

Both sides then traded penalties to square it up again at 20-20 with six minutes left.

Brisbane's Ben Hunt initially looked like the halfback who would nab the limelight.

The besieged No.7 appeared to silence his critics when he helped Brisbane grab a 14-6 first-half lead.

Under pressure to perform since signing a lucrative five-year St George Illawarra deal, Hunt's pinpoint grubbers set up tries for James Roberts (7th minute) and skipper Darius Boyd (34th).

But Thurston ensured he stole the show.

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