20 Sep 2014

Roosters edge Cowboys in thriller

6:09 am on 20 September 2014

North Queensland's National Rugby League season has once again been ended on a sour note after a refereeing call went against them.

North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston

North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The reigning champion Sydney Roosters triumphed over the Cowboys 31-30 in their NRL semi-final at Allianz Stadium, but for the third straight year a debatable decision cost North Queensland.

Down 30-0 after half an hour, the Cowboys threatened to pull off the biggest comeback in 106 years of Premiership rugby league, storming back to level the scores at 30-30.

The Roosters needed a 76th-minute field goal from five-eighth James Maloney and a 50-50 knock-on call as superstar halfback Johnathan Thurston's last-minute try was ruled out.

His halfback Robert Lui was ruled to have got an arm to an errant pass from Kyle Feldt before Thurston regathered to score.

The Roosters' heart-stopping win sets up a blockbuster preliminary final with South Sydney next Friday night at ANZ Stadium.