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Inside the NRL: Johnathan Thurston delivers again and Englishmen make history
Last Updated: 13/03/17 3:17pm
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as Johnathan Thurston delivers yet again and achieves a significant milestone in the progress.
Melbourne received a huge boost ahead of their first home game of the season, plus a piece of English history was made in round two.
Thurston delivers again
Johnathan Thurston delivered for North Queensland yet again as the Cowboys beat Brisbane 21-20 in extra-time. It was the fourth time in five matches a Broncos and Cowboys game went to overtime.
Repeating his heroics from the 2015 Grand Final, the Cowboys playmaker kicked the drop goal in the 88th minute to win the game.
Brisbane and England coach Wayne Bennett has been a long-time critic of golden point.
"That's the tragedy of golden point. We deserved a point here tonight - we didn't deserve to come away with nothing," said Bennett.
"I have always been against it since day one."
Thurston agrees with the veteran coach and has suggested a new idea.
"After 80 minutes if it's a draw I'd like to see both teams get a point and in golden point whoever wins that, you get the extra point," he said.
Friday was a significant night for not just Thurston but Melbourne captain Cameron Smith as well. Both players surpassed 2000 career points, and they did it within hours of each other.
Smith achieved the accomplishment first during the Storm's win at the Warriors with an eighth-minute conversion, while Thurston reached the milestone with a 20th-minute conversion against the Broncos.
There's some good news for Melbourne with full-back Billy Slater expected to return on Thursday for their first home game of the season against Brisbane.
Slater has been sidelined for more than a year with a shoulder injury, playing just eight games in two seasons. The last time he played was in the opening round last year against St George Illawarra.
Teammate Kenny Bromwich is expecting big things from the 33-year old.
"I can't get more excited about the way that he's training because I think when he does come back he's going to light the house up," said Bromwich.
The veteran player will go head to head with Broncos full-back and Origin rival Darius Boyd in a game that could decide who will wear the No 1 jersey for Queensland this year.
The duo are leading contenders for the Maroons full-back position but Boyd said as long as he was included in the team he would be happy.
"Obviously I'd love to keep that spot, it was something I was very honoured to receive last year and it was a long time coming. I think Billy's record and his class speaks for itself," Boyd said.
North Queensland co-captain Matt Scott is set to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
The injury could mark the end of Scott's career with North Queensland. The veteran forward is out of contract at the end of the year and has been linked with a move to Newcastle.
It's not only a blow for North Queensland but Australia as well, with the injury likely to rule Scott out of selection for the World Cup at the end of the year.
Jarryd Hayne will be sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury sustained in the Titans' 34-26 defeat to Newcastle.
"Jarryd has significant ligament damage. It doesn't require surgery. He'll be out for at least a month it seems," said Titans coach Neil Henry.
A piece of history was made in round two. For the first time since the NRL was formed, four English players captained four teams.
Sam Burgess stepped in to lead South Sydney in place of the injured Greg Inglis, while Josh Hodgson has been named acting skipper for the Raiders as Jarrod Croker recovers from a knee injury.
The duo joined Bulldogs captain James Graham and Dragons skipper Gareth Widdop in leading their sides.