Nine Sports

Cowboys win historic grand final in golden point time

FULL TIME: JOHNATHAN Thurston has led his Cowboys to grand final glory in golden point time after a titanic struggle between two of the best sides in modern era footy.

A penalty goal in the 43rd minute stretched the Broncos' lead to 16-12 with a Kahu kick straight between the posts.

The score sat there until the instant the siren blew and the Cowboys made an amazing back-of-hand pass to score in corner, bringing the teams even.

A dramatic build up hinted at a Disney-esque kick to win for Thurston but his conversion attempt skipped off the uprights. 

Seconds into golden point, Ben Hunt knocked on as he dropped he kick off. The Broncos swarmed after the scrum, nailing tackle after tackle until Thurston booted a field goal to end it 17-16 to the Cowboys.

MORE: Golden Thurston confirms place as one of game's greats

Second-half report:

44th: Jordan Kahu penalty goal puts Brisbane ahead 16-12.

56th: Some cool-headedness from Brisbane fullback Darius Boyd to shepherd the ball over the dead-ball line and earn his team a 20m tap.

61st: Cowboys centre Kane Linnett drops the ball which would have levelled the scores, and with the try-line beckoning.

66th: Broncos prop Adam Blair gives away a penalty for a reckless high tackle.

78th: Silly lifting tackle from Broncos halfback Ben Hunt gives the Cowboys a crucial penalty.

80th: Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston keeps the play alive in brilliant fashion, before five-eighth Michael Morgan gives the final pass for winger Kyle Feldt to score in the right-hand corner.

16-all.

80th: Thurston's wobbly kick to win the grand final hits the right-hand upright in dramatic fashion.

81st: Hunt drops the kick-off for golden point.

Moments later his champion opposite halfback Thurston kicks the match-winning field goal in golden-point extra time, sealing one of the greatest premiership deciders in the history of the game.

Fulltime: Cowboys 17 Broncos 16.

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Thurston with his wife and child.

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HALF TIME: 

5th  minute: A strong run from Broncos lock Corey Parker earns his team a penalty. Cowboys laying down in the play-the-ball.

Broncos are 40m out and they opt for the penalty goal, and Parker nails it.

Brisbane up 2-0.

8th: Broncos go wide early in tackle count deep in own territory. Five-eighth Anthony Milford dummies and goes short to centre Jack Reed. Reed gets it to big winger Corey Oates who scoots away for a 90m-try!

Broncos up 8-0.

>>> Fans have their say in lead up to NRL grand final

10th: Back-rower Matt Gillett knock-on deep in Broncos territory from the kick-off.

10th: Cowboys try! Cowboys hooker Jake Granville picks it up from the scrum and darts through, offloads to Justin O'Neill for TRY!

Kick converted by Johnathan Thurston. Broncos up 8-6.

13th: Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt put into touch from brilliant Oates try-saver!

25th: Cowboys prop James Tamou scores TRY next to the posts, getting on the outside of Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough from close range.

Thurston converts for 12-8 to Cowboys, after being down 8-0.

Cowboys punched through the middle for both tries.

34th: Thurston loses ball. Ball ends up in Gillett's hands. Gillett breaks a tackle and offloads to Reed for TRY! Great finish Reed.

Broncos never gave up on the play.

Jordan Kahu converts for 14-12 Broncos lead.

Two tries each in a highly entertaining first half.

Broncos win the coin toss for the 2015 NRL grand final

Cowboys and Broncos fans arriving for the NRL Grand Final between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.
Cowboys and Broncos fans arriving for the NRL Grand Final between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. AAP Image - Dean Lewins

IT was the most unusual pre-game grand final coin toss in history.

But then again, this clash between two Queensland NRL teams Brisbane and North Queensland is history-making.

Rival captain Justin Hodges, playing his final rugby league game in a magnificent career which started with the Broncos in 2000 and Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston made light of the enormous occasion confronting when as they laughed, shook hands and even hugged after the traditional coin toss.

Thurston called "tails" but it landed on heads, giving Hodges the first small victory of the day.

>>> Fans have their say in lead up to NRL grand final

As the sold-out crowd of 80,000 filed into the famous Olympic Stadium which Cathy Freeman ignited with her 400m gold medal victory 15 years ago, retiring players and those heading overseas  including Clint Newton,  Beau Champion, David Simmons, David Stagg, Kurt Gidley, Keith Galloway, Frank Pritchard,  were introduced to fans before Jimmy Barnes and Cole Chisel belted out some of their classic hits.

In the curtain raiser, Ipswich Jets made sure it would be an all Queensland night with a 26-12 win over NSW Cup winners Newcastle with Manly-bound hooker Matt Parcell named man-of-the-match.

Sportsbet's Joel Cain said punters were unable to decide which team would start favourite with both sides quoted at $1.93.

Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein is the $10 favourite to score the first try of the grand final with good money for his team-mate Michael Morgan at $12 and Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt $13.

Johnathan Thurston  has been crushed in from $3 to $2.50 the shortest priced favourite in history to win the Clive Churchill medal.



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