NRL Round 7 – Match 2 Results: North Queensland Cowboys 18 v Parramatta Eels 24

The resurgent Eels won their second successive match on Friday night, following their strong win ahead of the Rabbitohs in Round 6, when they held off a gallant effort by the Cowboys up at Dairy Farmer Stadium.

It was a disappointing home game result for North Queensland, who even with the surprise return of star Jonathan Thurston thought to still be a couple of weeks away from returning after a shoulder injury, lost their third consecutive match.

Parramatta got in an early lead as Ben Smith opened their account in the 11th minute. Luke Burt, who booted four from four on the night, converted and the visitors were ahead 6 – 0.

Before the Cowboys could get on the board, the Eels scored again with the talented Timana Tahu scoring his first of an eventual match double in the 22nd minute giving them a 12 – 0 lead.

The Cowboys soon fought back and just three minutes later Scott Bolton scored their first points with a 25th minute try. Thurston, who also converted all of his team’s tries, kicked it through the posts to narrow the margin to six points.

Then in a thrilling first half for the home crowd, Ashley Graham got over again for the Cowboys and with the kick the teams sat tied 12 all for the 40 minute break.

In the second half North Queensland looked like they would dominate the game as Willie Tonga scored in the 49th minute and with Thurston’s conversion the Cowboys charged to the lead for the first time.

But in the last 30 minutes of the match the home side faded and let go of their lead, failing to score again as their rivals managed two more unanswered tries.

First Tahu completed his double in the 58th minute to again tie the match, but then Krisnan Inu won them the game with a 66th minute try.

The final score was 24 – 18 in favour of the Eels, who look to have returned to the great form that got them to the Grand Final last year.