Saturday 24 March 2018 / 07:04 PM


As North Queensland and Canterbury prepare for a top-four blockbuster in Townsville tonight, Throwback Thursday relives the first notable high-stakes clash between the clubs – the 2004 qualifying final.

The Cowboys, ranked seventh and playing in their first finals match after 10 seasons in the premiership, sprung a 30-22 boilover against the second-placed Bulldogs at Stadium Australia.

The Bulldogs were dealt an early blow when skipper Steve Price was sin-binned for a professional foul, allowing the Cowboys to power out to a 16-0 lead after Luke O’Donnell crossed and winger Matt Sing scored twice from high kicks.

A sizzling Matt Bowen try in the 56th minute pushed the underdogs out to 26-6, but the Bulldogs posted three unanswered touchdowns to draw within four points and set up a grandstand finish.

There would be no fairytales spoilt, however, with Sing completing an incredible hat-trick from yet another cross-field kick and sealing a historic win with just over two minutes remaining.

The Bulldogs went on to win the premiership, however, downing the Sydney Roosters, who eliminated the Cowboys in a thrilling preliminary final.

[YouTube – brent2105]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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