NRL GRAND FINAL SNAPSHOT
THEY SAID IT: “This is why we play the game” – Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston after receiving the Clive Churchill Medal following his match winning golden point field goal.
STAT THAT MATTERS: No.1 – that’s the amount of premierships North Queensland now have safe in their keeping, finally breaking their premiership drought – and finals curse – in their 20th anniversary year with their dramatic 17-16 golden point win over Brisbane.
MAN OF THE MATCH: How can you go past Johnathan Thurston? The Cowboys co-captain was the face of North Queensland’s horror finals run of late so it only seemed fitting that he ended their misery, potting the match winning field goal to bring a welcome smile to long suffering Cowboys’ fans’ faces.
MAGIC MOMENT: Where to start? North Queensland produced something from nothing on the stroke of fulltime, Michael Morgan’s inside ball set up Kyle Feldt’s try that locked up the scores at 16-16. Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston hit the post for the sideline conversion to send the match into golden point.
TALKING POINT: Is there anything Thurston can’t do? Okay, so his sideline conversion after the fulltime siren hit the post but the four-time Dally M Medallist showed he still had his Midas touch with his 82nd minute match winning field goal.
JUDICIARY WATCH: Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt was placed on report for a 77th minute dangerous throw on Cowboys centre Kane Linnett.
KEY INJURIES: Nil.
UNDER PRESSURE: Poor Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt. The No.7 had done little wrong all season, earning comparisons with Broncos great Allan Langer. But the pint-sized playmaker will unfortunately be remembered for his knock on from the re-start in golden point for setting up the Cowboys’ match winning play.