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An 83rd minute Shaun Johnson field goal capped a 25-24 comeback win by the Warriors against the Cowboys at Moreton Daily Stadium on Friday night.

The win was the Warriors' third in succession after back to back defeats of Wests Tigers and the Broncos, while Johnson's 15th career field goal secured his 100th NRL victory.

The Cowboys dominated most of the game and led 18-6 until just before halftime, when a Chanel Harris-Tavita 40:20 kick gave the Warriors a late opportunity to score and they capitalised.

The lead see-sawed in the second half until the match was decided in golden point when Johnson landed his third field goal attempt.

Match snapshot

  • Jesse Arthars appeared set to open the scoring in the fifth minute when he won the race for a Shaun Johnson grubber into the North Queensland in-goal that bounced awkwardly for Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater but the Warriors centre fumbled the ball.
  • In-form Cowboys five-eighth Tom Dearden made the Warriors pay for the missed opportunity when he dummied his way past Josh Curran and Shaun Johnson to score two minutes later.

Dearden slices through

  • Arthars made amends when he crossed in the 11th minute off a perfectly timed Johnson pass and Reece Walsh's conversion momentarily put the Warriors ahead 6-4 until Valentine Holmes landed a 16th minute penalty goal.
  • After having a hand in Arthars' try when he offloaded to Johnson, Warriors captain Addin Fonua-Blake gifted one to Drinkwater in the 23rd minute when he failed to cover a Chad Townsend grubber into his in-goal.
  • The game appeared to be slipping from the grasp of the Warriors when Murray Taulagi intercepted a Johnson pass near the Cowboys try and sent Holmes racing down-field and Kyle Feldt scored in the 34th minute.

Feldt crosses in the corner

  • A 40:20 kick by Warriors five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita gave the Warriors one last opportunity to score before halftime and Curran stepped through the defence to reduce North Queensland's lead to 18-12 at the interval.
  • The Cowboys started the second half as they ended the first, with Taulagi spilling the kick-off and Warriors super-sub Kodi Nikorima racing over from dummy half in the 42nd minute.

Nikorima catches the Cowboys napping

  • The Cowboys regained the lead in the 49th minute when Drinkwater chimed into the backline to combine with Townsend and Dearden before throwing a long pass for Holmes to score. Warriors fullback Reece Walsh held Holmes up but the Queensland Origin star proved too strong and eventually grounded the ball.
  • Holmes extended the Cowboys lead to 24-18 with a 59th minute penalty goal after Marcelo Montoya was placed on report for a high shot on former Warriors team-mate Peta Hiku.

Holmes' fancy footwork gets him a try

  • The Warriors again drew level when Harris-Tavita put second-rower Euan Aitken in the 65th minute and Walsh converted.
  • An attempted field goal by Johnson was charged down by Cowboys utility Jake Granville, who also applied kick pressure to prevent Reece Walsh from succeeding with another attempt before fulltime. 
  • Johnson secured the win with his third field goal attempt in the 83rd minute

SJ seals it in golden point

Play of the game

The Warriors didn't appear to be in the game until a 40:20 kick by five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita just before halftime led to lock Josh Curran scoring to ensure they went to break trailing just 18-12. 

Curran gets one on halftime

What they said

"I thought the amount of goal line 'D' that we did to give ourselves a chance to win the game, ultimately I thought we deserved to win from that point of view. We have won three in a row and in the last three games we have certainly found some growth in some areas, that's for sure. We are certainly improving but we play the top end of town in the next two weeks on the road. We have got the Roosters and Storm who probably been the two best sporting clubs in Australia for the last 20 years so that will give us a real good look at how much growth we have had and how much more we need to get": Warriors coach Nathan Brown.

New Zealand Warriors

"I think we gift wrapped the game and handed it to the Warriors. There were large parts of that game we were in control but through our poor discipline, we're sitting there and down on life. I had a sick feeling in my stomach, it was a bit of a horror show unfolding in slow motion but at different times we had opportunities to win the game": Cowboys coach Todd Payten.

North Queensland Cowboys

What's next

The Warriors travel to Sydney to take on the Roosters at the SCG next Sunday, while the Cowboys will leave Queensland for the first time this season when they make the trip to Canberra to face the Raiders on Thursday night.

Warriors prop Addin Fonua-Blake was a late inclusion and appeared to get through his 49 minutes of action unscathed, while running 142 metres in 14 carries of the ball.

Fonua-Blake rocks Cotter

Winger Marcelo Montoya failed to finish the match after being forced from the field for a late HIA.

Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater ran a game high 195 metres and scored a try after being called in to replace the injured Hamiso Tabuia-Fidow (knee), while Jason Taumalo (188m) and Tom Gilbert (175m) led the way for the forwards.



Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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