Thurston stars as Cowboys overpower Rabbitohs


Johnathan Thurston was in fine form as North Queensland Cowboys proved too strong for South Sydney Rabbitohs in a 20-0 victory on Sunday.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Rabbitohs hosted an NRL fixture in Cairns but Barlow Park did not prove a happy hunting ground on this occasion as defending champions Cowboys continued their push for a top-two berth.

At the heart of their attacking dominance was the sensational Thurston, who continues to show why he is considered among the best in the game. 

The half-back had already kicked a penalty before scoring the game's first try in the 12th minute after selling a brilliant dummy to dive over the line.

It got better for the Cowboys when Matt Scott bundled his way to the line and it was 14-0 by the end of a first half dominated by the Cowboys.

And it took just two second-half minutes for the visitors to extend the lead as Thurston's brilliant pass played in Javid Bowen to cross in the right corner.

The Rabbitohs tried to muster a comeback, but Cody Walker and Joe Burgess both had scores disallowed, the hosts slipping to an 11th defeat of a disappointing season.

In Sunday's other contest, Jordan Rapana scored a brilliant opportunistic try to earn Canberra Raiders a 29-25 golden-point victory over Newcastle Knights.

The Knights appeared on course to snap a nine-game losing streak as Sione Mata'utia, Korbin Sims and Jake Mamo all scored tries, the former crossing twice, inside 25 minutes to put the visitors into a 22-0 lead.

Blake Austin started the Canberra recovery before the break, though, before a Jack Wighton score and a double from Jarrod Croker set up a thrilling ending.

An Austin drop goal had seemingly won it for Canberra in the 79th minute, but Trent Hodkinson's field goal sent the game into golden point.

Both teams attempted one-pointers for the win and it was Canberra that were left celebrating when Austin's final kick of the first extra period went wide only to drop in the in-goal area and bounce sharply backwards for the opportunistic Rapana to pounce on, before beating a couple of defenders to touch down.