A stunning Junior Tatola try just four minutes from full-time has given South Sydney a crucial 30-18 win over the Cowboys at 1300Smiles Stadium on Saturday night.
After a field goal attempt by Adam Reynolds had been charged down, Adam Doueihi returned the ball 40 metres to put the Rabbitohs in scoring position.
Cameron Murray then surged towards the line and got a miracle offload away to Tatola who showed great hands for a big man to scoop the ball up and score under the posts.
Murray then made it a double blow when he backed up James Roberts to score in the 79th minute and ice the win.
Murray backs up Roberts to secure the win
Former Cowboy Ethan Lowe played a starring role in his return to the north, scoring two tries in the first half in a topsy-turvey game.
In the opening two minutes a Kyle Feldt error proved costly for the Cowboys with Adam Reynolds chipping a kick through to the right for Lowe. Reynolds added the extras, the Bunnies leading by six.
The Cowboys responded with a try of their own, Jake Granville throwing a bullet pass out to Kyle Feldt who sprinted 40 metres down the right touchline before sending Tom Opacic over in the corner.
Match: Cowboys v Rabbitohs
Round 18 -
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
- LIVE PASS
The Rabbitohs sent the resulting kick-off out on the full, the Cowboys finding themselves deep in enemy territory through some big metres from the likes of Jason Taumalolo who came close to the line before Murray was penalised for holding him down in the tackle for too long. The Cowboys opted to take the two, levelling the score six-all after 17 minutes.
Four minutes later Ethan Lowe bagged his double, taking a Damien Cook pass close to the line on the right edge.
North Queensland again replied, Feldt bringing down a high ball to score in the corner in the 25th minute. Jake Clifford's conversion sent the hosts into the break trailing 12-10.
Feldt flies high over Graham
A minute into the second half Lowe was penalised for a second effort in the tackle, the Cowboys attempting to add the two to level the scores but Clifford sent his kick wide.
Off the back a repeat set, the Cowboys hit the lead for the first time in the game, Scott Drinkwater swooping in to clean up the mess left by the Rabbitohs under the high ball.
After back-to-back penalties the home side stretched their advantage to six points through a Clifford goal.
North Queensland had two chances to pull further ahead, with Kyle Feldt unable to take the high ball a metre from the try line before debutant winger Murray Taulagi butchered a try in the 62nd minute after putting down a pass when unmarked in the left corner.
Gagai scores off freak Reynolds kick
Instead, Souths levelled things up through a bizarre try when Adam Reynolds chased down a Damien Cook grubber and toed it ahead for Dane Gagai to pounce on the ball just inside the dead ball line.
That's when Murray produced his moments of magic, sending Tatola across between the posts before supporting a line break from Roberts.