A Jonathon Thurston masterclass has led the North Queensland Cowboys to a 2 point win over the Brisbane Broncos, a win that is sure to put a smile on the faces of Cowboys fans.

In what may now be something we should expect, the game showed that the Thurston/Bowen combination is back in full swing, and even more destructive then before.

It was the two that led from the front, as the Cowboys dominated the early stages, before the rain arrived, turning the game into a old-fashioned slog.

“It brings a smile to my face that he is getting back to his best – I am glad to see it,” Thurston said of Bowen.

Even Broncos stalwart and captain Darren Lockyer can see the effect that Thurston and Bowen had on the game.

“I have not seen Bowen play like that in a long time,” he said.

“Those two together playing with confidence, they are hard to stop.

“If you make a mistake they can go 100m on you.”

With his career in limbo, depending on the 2011 season, Cowboys coach Neil Henry would be breathing a sign of relief, as Broncos coach Anthony Griffin also faces the pressure.

“It’s the start of the season and we obviously would like to get off on the right foot,” Henry said.

“But I think it was the way we did it (that was most pleasing).

“Just the way players like Dallas (Johnson) was cramping up in the 80th minute but still turning up for his teammates, the way we defended for repeat sets.

“(But) we might feel warm and fuzzy right now but we are not getting carried away.”

For Thurston, he says that the old Cowboys of 2010, would not have been able to hold in this game, that was a true arm-wrestle.

“I don’t think so. The amount of work in the pre-season that we have done and our attitude (paid off),” he said.

Despite the win however, it was dampened by a calf injury to prop Scott Bolton, who will undergo scans on Monday, but he is expected to be sidelined for two weeks.

“It’s no secret that last year we had very poor defence – so I am very proud of the effort tonight, the way they kept turning up for each other,” he said

For Broncos coach Griffin, he said that the Broncos were their own worst enemy.

“We beat ourselves,” he said.

“But credit to the Cowboys – they had to do a lot of defending on their line.

“I feel for the players. They played their butts off you would like to see them get a reward but they didn’t deserve it.”

The win was the Cowboys first win over the Broncos since 2007, and equalled their away win total from 2010.

3 Jonathon Thurston
2 Matt Bowen
1 Jack Reed

NORTH QUEENSLAND 16 (M Bani J Tamou W Tupou tries J Thurston 2 goals) BRISBANE 14(D Gagai J Reed J Yow Yeh tries C Parker goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Shayne Hayne, Gerard Sutton. Crowd: 45,119.

By ricky

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