Thurston injured as Cowboys stunned by Wests

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Johnathan Thurston was forced off with a leg injury as North Queensland Cowboys were stunned by Wests Tigers, who moved off the bottom of the NRL table with 26-16 victory.

Wests raced into a 20-6 lead at the interval after getting a rapid start thanks to Ava Seumanufagai, Elijah Taylor, David Nofoaluma and Matt McIlwrick tries in Townsville.

Jason Taumalolo contributed the Cowboys' only score of the first half but, despite two second-half scores from Coen Hess that cut the gap to four points, they could not complete the comeback.

And the Cowboys woes were compounded by the injury to captain and star half-back Thurston, who was helped from the field late on.

Meanwhile, St George Illawarra Dragons maintained their perfect start to the season with a fifth consecutive win by hammering Manly Sea Eagles 35-10 at Lottoland, English five-eighth Gareth Widdop opening the scoring in the third minute to set the tone and Euan Aitken adding a first-half brace.

Jorge Taufua kept the score respectable with a try to make it 16-6 at the break but the visitors' onslaught continued with Widdop contributing 19 of his side's points to move the Dragons level on points at the top of the table with Melbourne Storm.

An injury-hit Gold Coast Titans side were taken apart 42-16 at home by Canberra Raiders, with Jordan Rapana scoring a hat-trick in the first 25 minutes against his former club to secure a third win in four games for the Raiders, who moved up to fifth.