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The Cowboys scored a comfortable 30-6 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 9. Stamping their authority on the match from the outset, it took the home side just 90 seconds to open the scoring with Johnathan Thurston putting Brent Tate through a gap and Ray Thompson backing up on the inside to score.

Matt Bowen added another 10 minutes later as he latched onto a perfectly timed inside ball from his captain to race over and it was 16-0 soon after as Thurston and Bowen combined to send Kane Linnett across.

However, it was their next play that really had the crowd on their feet as James Segeyaro broke clear and put in a cross-field chip that Tate miraculously scooped in to plant the ball in the corner.

It took the Dragons 50 minutes to finally put some points on the board – although it was worth the wait as Jason Nightingale broke clear down the right touchline and kicked in-field for Brett Morris to score.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors. A forearm to the head of Thurston saw Dragons back-rower Matt Prior sent from the field, the Cowboys taking the easy two points from the resulting penalty, and they added their fifth try late in the game as Tariq Sims pounced on a Thompson grubber to score beside the posts.

North Queensland completed 76 per cent of their sets compared with just 55 per cent by the Dragons.

James Tamou was strong up front for the home side, running for 168 metres and making 25 tackles, while Daniel Vidot made 171 metres and produced six tackle-breaks for St George Illawarra.