Thurston injures hamstring in easy Cowboys win

Johnathan Thurston suffered an apparent hamstring injury as North Queensland Cowboys returned to winning ways with a dominant 36-0 NRL victory over Canterbury Bulldogs.

The defending champions responded emphatically to defeat by the Canberra Raiders - their second in four games - 10 days ago, producing a commanding display in Townsville on Thursday.

But the post-match questions will surround the fitness of Thurston, who headed down the tunnel with the Cowboys 20-0 to the good in the second half.

The four-time Dally M Medal winner provided a positive update on his fitness late in the game, though.

When asked if he will be fit to face second-placed Melbourne Storm next week, Thurston told Channel Nine: "Yeah I should be sweet."

Scrum-half Thurston converted both of Antonio Winterstein's tries after the winger crossed twice in the opening eight minutes, but could not add the extras to Javid Bowen's 24th-minute effort as the Cowboys went into the break 16-0 up.

Justin O'Neill went over five minutes after the restart before Thurston made his way from the field and, even with the Cowboys star playmaker off the pitch, a Bulldogs fightback never materialised.

Ethan Lowe converted his own effort to make it 26-0 and O'Neill scored his second nine minutes from time, with Winterstein fittingly having the final say as he raced away to dive over in the left-hand corner and complete his hat-trick following a Bulldogs handling error.

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