North Queensland Cowboys fire back to thump Rabbitohs

RUGBY LEAGUE: In his 220th game for his club, North Queensland maestro Johnathan Thurston led his side to a 30-12 thumping of defending premiers South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs started off strongly last night with David Tyrrell barging over in the opening couple of minutes and they went into the break leading 12-4 after the Cowboys were denied right on the buzzer. But the Cowboys returned with a vengeance, snatching a try just 32 seconds into the second stanza after Gavin Cooper wandered straight through the middle of the Rabbits' defence and JT backed up and scored under the posts.

Thurston tied it up with a penalty in the 48th minute before Antonio Winterstein crossed the chalk in the 55th minute and the red-hot visitors never looked back as they claimed their third win on the trot.

In the second half, the undermanned Bunnies looked vulnerable as the Cowboys forward pack continued its recent form reversal to give Thurston a platform to work from.

Thurston clocked up the milestone match, moving into second behind Matt Bowen, and celebrated in style with two tries, four conversions and a penalty.

COWBOYS 30 (O'Neill, Thurston 2, Winterstein, Granville tries, Thurston 4 con, 1 pen) def RABBITOHS 12 (Tyrrell, Johnson tries, Luke 2 pen)