A rare field goal by Cameron Smith has handed Melbourne a 15-14 NRL win over North Queensland in Brisbane.
The Queensland State of Origin skipper earned bragging rights over his state teammate and Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston with the 70th-minute field goal – just the second of his career – to seal Saturday’s victory.
It’s the second time in as many trips to Brisbane the Cowboys have been beaten by a single point after a golden-point defeat earlier this season to the Broncos.
The Cowboys took the early advantage when Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu spilled a Thurston bomb straight into the hands of Gavin Cooper.
But it was Melbourne who took the halftime lead after back-to-back tries to Tohu Harris and Kevin Proctor – again off a spilt bomb – to be up 12-8 at the break.
The Storm extended their lead with a Smith penalty shortly after the break.
A brilliant Jake Granville pass to put Michael Morgan over squared things up at 14-15 with 26 minutes to go to set up a grandstand finish.
Both teams had their opportunities in the closing stages.
Vunivalu was brought down by a desperate Thurston ankle tap after finding himself in the clear.
Then Cameron Munster and Harris combined to stop Antonio Winterstein when the Cowboys’ winger seemed destined to crash over in the corner.
That was the premier’s final real chance before Smith’s sealer secured the Storm’s fourth straight victory.