North Queensland and Leeds are locked at 4-4 at halftime in a pulsating World Club Challenge matchup.
Heavy underdogs Leeds, buoyed by strong home crowd support at Headingley Stadium, started promisingly on Sunday with ex-NRL props Keith Galloway and Adam Cuthbertson making strong headway.
The Super League champions had four consecutive sets on the Cowboys’ tryline midway through the first half, but found no way through stoic defence which repelled each raid.
Their failure to convert pressure into points proved especially costly when Johnathan Thurston put halves partner Michael Morgan into space – with the impressive No.6 crossing out wide to open the scoring.
Leeds hit back quickly through diminutive halfback Rob Burrow, who snuck over to level the score at 4-4 after accepting a Cuthbertson offload – which had followed a 70m intercept by Leeds playmaker Liam Sutcliffe, who had snaffled a pass from his idol Thurston.