North Queensland produced a stellar defensive effort to keep Brisbane scoreless as they gritted their teeth to record a 12-0 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 15.
Despite having four players backing up from State of Origin II just a few nights earlier – with Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin opting to rest all of his Origin stars except for Ben Hannant – the Cowboys kept their first clean sheet since 2005 to cement their spot in the top eight.
Both sides pulled off some remarkable try-saving tackles and it wasn’t until the 61st minute that first points were posted with Johnathan Thurston throwing a brilliant inside ball for Matt Bowen to race through before offloading for Gavin Cooper to score untouched.
The match was finally decided with six minutes remaining as Thurston and Bowen combined once more on the left edge to put Kane Linnett over.
Bowen finished with a game-high 225 metres while Thurston was again at his sizzling best, running for 124 metres and making two line-breaks.
Josh McGuire was a colossus for the visitors, running for 94 metres and making 60 tackles.