A last-minute try to Brisbane Broncos halfback Jake Turpin has snatched an 18-14 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville to keep their NRL finals hopes alive.
Brisbane were down by two points heading into the final minute of last night's dour encounter at 1300SMILES Stadium before Turpin defied multiple Cowboys defenders close to the line to seal an unlikely result.
"I thought we deserved to win," Brisbane Coach Anthony Seibold said of the scrappy win.
"Defensively we only missed five tackles and had no line break so that is a huge improvement from last week so it was pleasing to get what we deserved."
The Cowboys were denied a controversial try when the officials decided Brisbane's Andrew McCullough was impeded when trying to make a tackle on Jake Clifford, despite being able to make a front on tackle as the North Queensland half crossed the line.
"I'm not going to fall into the trap of shifting the blame," Cowboys coach Paul Green said.
"We put ourselves in a position to win and we should have won it."
The contest began in style when Brisbane fullback Anthony Milford scored after winger Jamayne Isaako beat opposite Gideon Gela-Mosby down the touch line and passed back inside in the sixth minute.
But the flashy start was not an indicator for the error-laden spectacle which followed.
At times both sides wouldn't have been able to complete a set of Lego with competition rates of under 75 per cent and 27 errors between them.
The Cowboys' first try was indicative of the messy nature of the opening match of round 21 when Shane Wright benefited from a loose carry by Gehamat Shibasaki eight minutes before halftime.
The stale first half only became interesting when Tevita Pangai Jnr and former teammate Josh McGuire tussled shortly before the break.
Cowboys enforcer McGuire could face more scrutiny from the judiciary after television replays appeared to show him brushing the face of David Fifita earlier in the half - he has already been fined for facial-related indiscretions twice this season.
The second term was also a turgid affair highlighted by Jake Clifford forcing his own grubber to put the Cowboys back into the lead
But Broncos backrower Fifita then had his revenge on McGuire, trampling the State of Origin star to reach out and equal the scores at 12-12 and setting the stage for Turpin's match winner.