Thurston inspires Cowboys over Broncos 26-20 in NRL playoffs

TOWNSVILLE, Australia (AP) " The North Queensland Cowboys beat state rivals Brisbane 26-20 in extra time on Friday to stay on track for a repeat of National Rugby League titles.

Brisbane led 20-18 before Johnathan Thurston kicked a 78th-minute penalty to send the match to extra time.

Then co-captain Thurston set up Michael Morgan's 85th-minute try to give the Cowboys the win and book a preliminary final next weekend against Cronulla, with the winner of that match advancing to the grand final on Oct. 2.

It was North Queensland's seventh home playoff victory in a row.

On Saturday, Canberra plays Penrith in another second-round match. The winner faces Melbourne in a preliminary final on Sept. 24, with the winner of that match also advancing to the grand final at Sydney's Olympic stadium.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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