Melbourne Storm have suffered a heart breaking golden point defeat in Townsville on Monday night.
Cowboys Captain Johnathan Thurston’s field goal in extra-time sealed victory for North Queensland as they overturned Melbourne’s late seven point advantage.
A strong start to the match from Melbourne was typified by captain Cameron Smith’s kick pressure just five minutes into the contest. Smith’s effort forced Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote to kick out on the full, handing Melbourne an advanced set to which Kurt Mann made the most of.
Opening the night’s scoring, Mann crossed for his first try of 2015 managing to break through on the left edge.
After taking the lead, Melbourne pressed to double their advantage but were then forced to defended for long periods of the half.
Conceding an Antonio Winterstein try, Storm absorbed a sustained period of pressure from the hosts without conceding and then rebounded into attack.
Defusing another Cowboys charge, winger Marika Koroibete scored one of the tries of the season, going the length of the field to score.
Finishing the half strongly, Felise Kaufusi then recorded his first ever NRL try to send Storm into the break with a 16-4 advantage.
In a tense second half of football, defence on both sides of the park held strong before Winterstein scored his second of the evening to draw his side to within striking distance.
Cooper Cronk’s late field goal, with eight minutes remaining kicked Melbourne out to a seven-point advantage before the Cowboys hit back late to tie the contest and send it into golden point extra time where Thurston proved the hero in front of his home faithful.
Melbourne Storm 17
Tries: Kurt Mann, Felise Kaufusi, Marika Koroibete
Goals: Cameron Smith 2
North Queensland Cowboys 18
Tries: Antonio Winterstein 13m, Antonio Winterstein 62m, Matthew Wright 78m
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2