Thurston returns in style to provide Origin boost in Darwin


Johnathan Thurston produced a superb performance on his return from injury as North Queensland Cowboys eased to a 32-6 NRL victory over Parramatta Eels in Darwin on Saturday.

Star half-back Thurston has been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury in Australia's Anzac Test win against New Zealand last month.

But he provided a boost to the Cowboys and Queensland Maroons, who lost the first game of the State of Origin series with New South Wales Blues and saw his replacement Anthony Milford dislocate a shoulder playing for Brisbane Broncos on Friday, with an instrumental showing.

A pair of Thurston kicks out wide to Kyle Feldt as well as six points from his boot gave the seventh-placed Cowboys a 14-0 half-time lead.

Thurston then dummied his way over for a four-pointer of his own before feeding Coen Hess for North Queensland's fourth try. Antonio Winterstein added a fifth, though Parramatta avoided being kept to nil through Brad Takairangi.

Penrith Panthers captain Matt Moylan set up two tries in the final three minutes to earn a dramatic 24-20 win over Canberra Raiders.

Canberra led 20-12 late on thanks in part to a double from Nick Cotric but Moylan, who had already crossed for a 12th-minute try of his own, laid on for Corey Harawira-Naera to score before Tyrone Peachey burst onto an offload from the stand-off to run 30 metres and score underneath the posts.

Elsewhere, New Zealand Warriors ran in six tries in a 34-12 defeat of Gold Coast Titans but lost stand-off Kieran Foran to a leg injury.