As the cowboys get stuck in to the business end of the season the Bulletin sport team are looking back at some magic moments of years gone by. Sports editor Rohan O’Neil has scoured the internet and record books to come up with his top 10 Cowboys tries of all time.
10. Kyle Feldt — Saturday, June 24, 2017 — Rd. 16 — vs. Penrith Panthers at 1300 SMILES Stadium (Townsville).
The most recent try on our all-time list, Townsville-born flyer Kyle Feldt soared through the air on a glorious Saturday afternoon to help steal a last-gasp victory over the visiting Penrith Panthers.
With just a minute remaining and the Cowboys down by four, Feldt used his trademark athleticism to sky for a Michael Morgan and tie up scores in the 79th minute.
The incredible finish from the former Ignatius Park student gave Ethan Lowe a chance to kick the Cowboys to victory and the second-rower made no mistake, drilling a sideline conversion to cap a remarkable triumph for North Queensland.
9. Damian Gibson — Saturday, March 11, 1995 — Rd. 1, vs. Sydney Bulldogs at Stockland Stadium (Townsville).
There have been more dazzling four-pointers in North Queensland history, but none was more historic than 19-year-old Damian Gibson etching his name into history as the club’s inaugural tryscorer.
A whopping 23,156 packed out Stockland Stadium for the Cowboys first ever game in the national competition and they were sent into raptures when Gibson dived over in the 20th minute for the historic try.
Gibson pounced on a deflected Dean Schifilliti kick and put winger John Skardon into space before receiving an inside ball from centre Willie Morganson to complete the unforgettable moment.
It wasn’t enough to prevent a 32-16 loss to the Bulldogs, but Gibson’s try in the club’s first ever game will forever live in Cowboys folklore.
8. Johnathan Thurston — Saturday, March 8, 2014 — Rd. 1 vs. Canberra Raiders at 1300 SMILES Stadium (Townsville).
He’s been the mastermind behind so many incredible Cowboys tries over the years but Johnathan Thurston opted to do it all himself in his freakish 70-metre effort against the Raiders in their 2014 season opener.
After the home side won a penalty, a quick-thinking Thurston caught the Raiders napping when he took a quick tap and swiftly set off downfield.
The Cowboys superstar stole a march on the Green Machine and after a clever dummy to halves partner Rob Lui, the head-geared Houdini made his way over the try line for a crucial first-half four-pointer in what turned out to be a great home win.
7. Matty Bowen — Saturday, April 23, 2005 — Rd. 7, vs. Penrith Panthers at Penrith Park (Sydney).
Club legends Johnathan Thurston and Matty Bowen linked with cult hero ‘Rocket’ Rod Jensen for an awesome long-distance try for ‘Mango’ against the Panthers in 2005.
Bowen lost a Craig Gower ball backwards before Thurston tapped a bouncing ball in to the arms of supersub Jensen, who bolted 40m before throwing a speculative offload back into midfield.
A recovering Bowen had followed the play and the ball bounced in to his arms on the halfway line before the Hopevale product sped the final 50m to cap the incredible scoring movement.
It was one of his 21 tries for the 2005 season and it was the type of brilliance fans across the NRL came to expect from the diminutive superstar.
6. Matty Bowen — Friday, March 16, 2007 — Rd. 1 vs. Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane).
Any win over the Broncos is sweet and it was the famous Thurston/Bowen combination that sealed North Queensland’s opening round win over Brisbane in the 2007 season.
Scores were locked at 16-16 with seven minutes to play when Thurston hit his electric fullback Bowen with an inside ball on the Cowboys’ 40m line.
Bowen immediately motored into space and across the halfway line before deftly stepping Broncos fullback Justin Hodges and touching down under the posts.
As if his try-scoring heroics weren’t enough, Bowen potted a game-sealing field goal minutes later to cap the 23-16 Cowboys win in front of more than 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
5. David Myles — Saturday, September 18, 2004 — Semi-final vs. Brisbane Broncos at Dairy Farmers stadium (Townsville).
There may have been more thrilling tries in Cowboys history but few have been as important as David Myles’ four-pointer in North Queensland’s first ever triumph over ‘big brothers’ the Brisbane Broncos.
A week removed from stunning the Bulldogs in their first ever finals appearance, the Cowboys ground out a historic 10-0 triumph over the Brisbane Broncos in front of 25,000 delirious fans at Diary Farmers Stadium.
The mercurial Matty Bowen put in a deft chip kick near the Broncos line in the 25th minute and when Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt clean missed the bouncing ball no frills five-eight Myles was on hand to score the game’s only try.
It’s hard to imagine a greater roar ever coming from the stands at the Cowboys home ground than that fateful night in 2004 and for its sheer significance in club history Myles’ scoring play had to feature highly on this list.
4. Matt Sing — Saturday, September 11, 2004 — Qualifying final, vs. Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium (Sydney).
In the Cowboys inaugural finals game Matt Sing skied high for a hat-trick of tries in his team’s stunning 30-22 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs, but it was third and final touchdown that takes the cake.
Seventh-placed North Queensland were given little chance of stopping a rampant Canterbury side that evening, but when Sing climbed above the pack to bring down a Matty Bowen bomb he sealed a 30-22 win.
As he had done twice earlier in the night, Winton-born representative star Sing leapt over his opposing winger, Matt Utai, to complete one of the greatest wins in club history.
Sing had only recently returned from a broken jaw, but he showed no ill-effects to ensure North Queensland’s finals debut was one to remember.
3. Matty Bowen — Saturday, July 23, 2005 — Rd. 20 vs. Penrith Panthers at Dairy Farmers Stadium (Townsville).
Picking a favourite Matty Bowen try is no easy task for Cowboys fans, with the little magician crossing the white line 130 times in his 270 games for North Queensland, but few could argue against his incredible feats against the Panthers in 2005.
Bowen collected a long, looping pass from his winger Ty Williams just 20m from his own goal-line before showing a clean set of heels to round the Penrith defence and complete a stunning individual play.
Panther halfback Craig Gower raced over in cover but a smiling Bowen easily fended off the veteran half and shook loose from a last-gasp tackle attempt by fellow speedster Rhys Wesser to slam the ball down in front of 19,000 ecstatic North Queensland fans.
The Cowboys went on to take down the Panthers 38-18 as part of their stirring but ultimately unsuccessful late season surge that ended in a grand final loss to the Wests Tigers.
2. Ty Williams — Sunday, July 31, 2005 — Rd. 21 vs. Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval (Sydney).
Extremely unlucky to not be the top of this list, Ty Williams’ once-in-a-lifetime try against Manly in 2005 remains one of the greatest individual tries in rugby league history.
The Innisfail speed machine collected a risky offload from Matty Bowen in the Cowboys’ in-goal before turning on the jets to streak past a host of Sea Eagles defenders to score an incredible 105m try.
Williams did well just to catch the Bowen pass without it going dead but what followed was an unforgettable sequence as the winger torched several Sea Eagles, including desperate tackle attempts from Manly legends Brett Stewart and Steve Menzies.
The former Origin winger managed 85 four-pointers from his 151 games in Cowboys colours but none was more memorable than his extra-long range effort in North Queensland’s narrow road win over the Sea Eagles in ’05.
1. Kyle Feldt — Sunday, October 4, 2015 — Grand final vs. Brisbane Broncos at ANZ Stadium (Sydney).
No North Queensland fan will ever forget Michael Morgan’s miracle flick pass and Kyle Feldt’s silky smooth finish as the siren sounded in the 2015 grand final.
The Cowboys trailed fierce rivals the Brisbane Broncos 16-12 with time expiring in the 2015 decider when Johnathan Thurston dodged two would-be tacklers and offloaded to halves partner Morgan 25 metres out with just five seconds left.
Morgan took off down the right edge and drew in a number of tiring Broncos defenders before producing an incredible flick pass that allowed Feldt to touch down just inside the touchline.
Thurston missed the resulting conversion but went on to nail a premiership-winning drop goal in golden point, all thanks to a miracle moment from Morgan and Feldt on the game’s greatest stage.