Landmark man Thurston settles yet another Cowboys - Broncos golden-point thriller

Updated: 

Johnathan Thurston was once again the difference as the North Queensland Cowboys beat Brisbane Broncos 21-20 in yet another thrilling golden-point clash between the two at Suncorp Stadium.

Thurston became the sixth NRL player to surpass 2,000 points in an absorbing encounter, as extra time was required to separate the Cowboys and Broncos for the fourth time in their last five meetings.

James Roberts' early try put the Broncos ahead before Coen Hess answered for the Cowboys, Thurston's subsequent conversion taking him beyond the 2,000-point landmark.

The boot of Anthony Milford and a Darius Boyd try helped Brisbane go into the break with a 14-12 lead. However, Jake Granville's 43rd-minute score and four points off the tee from Thurston looked like sealing it for the Cowboys in normal time despite Jordan Kahu's try for the Broncos.

But a Milford penalty sent the game to golden point - Thurston missing a drop-goal attempt late on - and the Broncos appeared to have the greater reserves of energy, but the North Queensland defence stood firm against relentless Brisbane pressure.

Milford - whose one-pointer sealed a 21-20 victory for Brisbane in round four last season - saw two drop-goal efforts charged down, with outstanding covering defence from the Cowboys preventing the Broncos from scoring a decisive try after the second attempt failed.

Yet it was fittingly Thurston who had the final say in the second period of extra time, repeating his heroics from the 2015 Grand Final between the two with the decisive drop-goal to give the Cowboys a second successive golden-point win to start the season, Gavin Cooper's try having sealed a 20-16 victory over the Canberra Raiders last week.

The day's other game saw Melbourne Storm claim a comfortable 26-10 over New Zealand Warriors in Auckland, the visitors pulling away with 14 unanswered points in the second half.