Johnathan Thurston showed once more why he is the best half in the competition, with a brilliant display leading into the Origin period – guiding his side to a 32-12 win over the Newcastle Knights.
He was the puppeteer that ran the show, involved in 4 of his sides 5 tries, including the two that winger Ashley Graham scored, to take his total to 11 for the season – an NRL best so far.
The Knights failed to score until their third attempt, with both Timana Tahu and Neville Costigan previously held up over the line.
With the Cowboys to lose Thurston for the Origin period, as well as potentially, other players – Cowboys coach Neil Henry was pleased with the win, and said it was important with Origin just around the corner.
“It’s important to us, to get two in a row instead of being win-loss-win-loss,” Henry said.
“It does keep us up there.
“We go and play Penrith next week and we’ll be missing a few boys (to Origin) … that’s a good result for us.”
Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett is a man who also speaks his mind, and rather than focusing on his side’s loss – he unloaded on the rules of the game, highlighting an incident involving a high tackle from Thurston on Knights fullback, Darius Boyd.
“One thing I’m pretty strong about in this game is that you don’t lie down when you get hit, but we’ve had three guys now taken out in two weeks and we haven’t got one penalty,” Bennett said.
“So I’m going to encourage them to lie on the ground now and go the video ref and they can make another decision.
“The game doesn’t want it, I don’t want it, but if they don’t want to do something about it, I’ll give them an option.”