Blunder recalled in Thurston win
NORTH Queensland skipper Johnathan Thurston might have a man-of-the-match bungle from a few years ago to thank for his Clive Churchill grand final medal success on Sunday.
Thurston, who carried an injury into the decider and was quiet in the first 20 minutes, kicked a field goal in the 82nd minute to hand the Cowboys a 17-16 win over Brisbane and deliver the club its maiden NRL premiership.
While nobody would begrudge the Cowboys legend man-of-the-match honours, until the emotion of the victory kicked in Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford was considered by many to have been the best on ground.
In 2013 the judges named Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans man of the match, having cast their votes before Sonny Bill Williams tore the game apart in the last 20 minutes, steering the Roosters to victory.
On Sunday the judges waited for the game to end before voting and Thurston’s heroics, and the crowd’s reaction, may have influenced them.
Cowboys hooker Jake Granville was also in the running for man-of-the-match honours as was Brisbane centre Jack Reed, who scored a try and saved a few others with his wonderful defence.
Meanwhile, Broncos duo Ben Hunt and Adam Blair have pleaded guilty to charges emerging from the grand final.
Hunt will miss one game after pleading guilty to a dangerous throw charge while Blair avoided a suspension despite pleading guilty to a high tackle.
MAN OF THE MOMENT: Johnathan Thurston.