Raiders hooker Brad Drew has given the Canberra side a dramatic 19-18 victory over the Cowboys with a 28 metre field goal at Dairy Farmers Stadium on last night.
Drew's field goal was only part of a tension-filled ending, with video referee Chris Ward twice denying Cowboys tries from kicks in the final eight minutes.
Drew kicked his field goal with four minutes remaining after darting out of dummy half and when the Raiders had looked to have run out of options on the fifth tackle.
But the Cowboys battled to the end and appeared to have snatched victory when captain Paul Bowman picked up the scraps from a kick which had been spilled metres from the line.
Referee Steve Lyons referred the decision with 1:50 left on the clock to Ward who took an eternity to decide that Cowboys winger Matt Singh knocked the ball on when contesting it with Canberra fullback Clinton Schifcofske near the line.
The Dairy Farmers crowd of 14,138 booed when the decision was flashed up on the scoreboard.
With the scores locked at 18-all with eight minutes to go, the Cowboys had a try disallowed by Ward when Travis Norton recovered a reverse Nathan Fien kick only for hooker Leigh McWilliams to be ruled to have influenced the play after being in an offside position.
Ground: Dairy Farmers Stadium Crowd: 14,138 Referee: Steve Lyons Video Referee: Chris Ward Touch Judges: Gavin Badger, Allen Foster
Scorers: COWBOYS 18 Tries: Norton, Morrison, Fien Goals: Hannay 3/5 defeated by RAIDERS 19 Tries: Davico, Monaghan, Robertson Goals: Schifcofske 3/5 Field Goal: Drew
By the clock: 0 min: A healthy crowd is on hand on a fine night in Townsville as North Queensland kicks off
6 min: TRY - Raiders. Mark McLinden throws a pass from dummy half near the line to find Luke Davico as he runs through some weak North Queensland defence to score an easy try. Schifcofske misses the Conversion.4-0 Raiders
13 min: PENALTY GOAL - Cowboys. Ruben Wiki is put on report for a high tackle on Matt Bowen near the Cowboys line. Josh Hannay scores a penalty goal from close in front. 4-2 Raiders
16 min: PENALTY GOAL - Raiders. Glenn Morrison is put on report for a careless high tackle right in front of the goal posts. Clinton Schifcofske gets the easy goal. 6-2 Raiders
19 min: NEWS - Canberra are penalised from 38 metres right in front of the sticks. Josh Hannay brushes it just wide
23 min: NEWS - Brad Drew puts in a grubber kick 5 metres out, Matt Bowan knocks it backwards only to just ground it before Ian Hindmarsh gets a hand to the ball.
29 min: TRY - Cowboys. A good passage of play for the Cowboys as they spread it out wide to find Travis Norton to score. Josh Hannay misses the coversion. It's all locked up at 6 all
31 min: NEWS - Hindmarsh is ruled to be held up by the video referee on the last tackle, Cowboys are let off the hook.
39 min : TRY - Cowboys. Canberra ruled offside right in front of the posts 10 metres out, Glenn Morrison taps the ball and burrows his way over to score a try. Hannay converts. 12-6 Cowboys
HALF TIME : The whistle is blown after the Cowboys chip the ball over the sideline Canberra have made far to many error near there own line only for the Cowboys to capalise on them. HALF TIME STATS: The Raiders have missed 8 tackles to the Cowboys 6. Penalties are in favour to the Cowboys 7-3. Completed sets : Cowboys 16/24, Raiders 15/20. Offloads: Raiders 3-0. Errors: Cowboys 8, Raiders 6. And tackles made: Cowboys 126, Raiders 138
40 min: Canberra kick off as the second half starts
41 min: NEWS - Michael Hodgson puts on a big hit on Luke O'Donnell giving the Raiders a golden opportunity only for the Raiders to spill the ball early in their set.
44 min: TRY - Raiders. Mark McLinden throws a long pass to find Adamn Mogg, he attracts two Cowboys players to pass it to an unmarked Joel Monaghan to score 10 metres in from touch. Schifcofske misses the conversion. Cowboys 12-10
55 min: NEWS - Canberra get out of trouble after a poor last tackle option by the Cowboys, Canberra then get a penalty soon after.
57 min: PENALTY GOAL - Raiders. Clinton Schifcofske lands a penalty kick 35 metres in front after Luke O'Donnell was penalised for pulling Ruben Wiki's hair. 12-all
60 min: TRY - Cowboys. Matt Sing makes a break running over 50 metres. The Cowboys then pass it infield to find Nathan Fien who burrows himself to score under the posts. Hannay Converts. 18-12 Cowboys
66 min: TRY - Raiders. Mark McLinden puts in a bomb to Matt Sing's wing, Michael Robertson catches the ball and pushes off Matt Bowan to place the ball on the line. Clinton Schifcofske converts from sideline. 18-all
68 min: NEWS - David Myles is down on the ground with a bout of concussion as he cops an accidental elbow from his team mate.
72 min: NEWS - Nathan Fien puts in a bannana kick to find Travis Norton who puts the ball down. Referee Steve Lyons goes to the video referee. Leigh McWilliams who was deemed in front of the kicker was within 10 metres from where the disallowed try was. No Try.
75 min: NEWS - Matt Bowan attempts a drop goal from 20 metres out. It goes just to the right of the posts.
76 min: FIELD GOAL - Raiders. Brad Drew strikes the ball from 29 metres out, it goes right through the middle of the posts. Raiders 19-18
78 min: NEWS - Nathan Fien puts in a bomb to find Clinton Schifcofske, Matt Sing chaces the ball. It rolls backwards and Paul Bowman pounces on the ball to place it. Referee Steve Lyons goes to the video referee. He rules it to come off Matt Sings hand - No Try.
79 min: NEWS - The Cowboys set up Josh Hannay to score a drop goal 35 metres out. It goes just to the right of posts.
FULL TIME - It's all over. A controversial call in the dying minutes let the Raiders off as they come out victors by 19 to 18.
FULL TIME STATS: The Raiders missed 18 tackles to the Cowboys 10. Penalties are in favour to the Cowboys 8-6. Completed sets : Cowboys 29/43, Raiders 31/40. Offloads: Raiders 5,Cowboys 2. Errors: Cowboys 16, Raiders 9. And tackles made: Cowboys 282, Raiders 278
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - R Wiki (Raiders) 2 - G Morrison (Cowboys) 1 - I Hindmarsh (Raiders)