In what could not have been written in the best blockbuster script, North Queensland Cowboys have won the 2015 NRL Grand Final in drama-filled extra time, 17-16.
— SMH Sport (@SMHsport) October 4, 2015
When all was said and done, the man of the hour, of the game and of the week, Johnathan Thurston slotted a field goal for the golden point in extra time and the Cowboys finally got their long awaited premiership.
In what is being described as the best Grand Final ever, the Cowboys won by one point and Johnathan Thurston - as hoped for and perhaps expected -- was named the winner of the Clive Churchill medal as the player of the match.
With less than a minute left it looked as if the Brisbane Broncos had the result secured, holding a four point lead. But in the best tradition of drama-filled sports stories, the Cowboys -- through a brilliant offload by Michael Morgan -- scored an 80th minute try to tie the scores.
With a collective breath being held around the stadium, Thurston kicked for the conversion and for the win but the ball hit the post.
And so it went to extra time.
The Cowboys took the kickoff and the drama escalated as the Broncos' Ben Hunt fumbled the restart when he dropped the ball.
When the excitement started to settle, the overwhelming impression was that what had just been witnessed will go down as the greatest Grand Final ever.
This was due, not only to the dramatic finish, but to the pace at which the game had been played from the first kick. It had the feeling and intensity of a State of Origin battle.
Thurston was not alone in what was a team effort by the Cowboys who looked to be out on their feet in the dying minutes.
The somewhat forgotten man in all this is the Cowboys' coach, Paul Green.
In just his second year as a senior coach, he has pulled off what no-one before him has been able to do up north -- win a premiership.
There is no doubt when this team returns to North Queensland in days to come the reception and the celebrations will be huge.
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