The Wests Tigers defeated the Cowboys 26-18 at Campbelltown Stadium in Round 12, notching their fifth win in what would become a seven-game mid-season success streak.
Both sides crossed for two tries in the opening 40 minutes, with a Benji Marshall penalty goal earning the home side a 14-12 lead at the break.
A piece of Marshall magic in the 57th minute propelled the Tigers to a 20-12 lead – with bodies in motion around him he dummied at first receiver eight metres out from the Cowboys' try-line, then stepped the goal-line defenders to score.
An Ashley Graham try in the right corner set the scene for an enthralling closing 14 minutes before Tigers fullback Tim Moltzen sealed the deal three minutes from fulltime.
It was a high-quality game in attack and defence: the Cowboys edging the Tigers 6-5 in line-breaks although the home side dominated territory 1656 metres to 1405. The Tigers also completed their sets at 83 per cent to the opposition's 76 per cent.
The Tigers were best served by Marshall and prop Aaron Woods who carved out a huge 212 metres from 21 hit-ups.
Cowboy James Tamou, backing up four days after the first State of Origin clash, was a juggernaut for the Cowboys with 228 metres from 16 hit-ups.