daily telegraph rugby league football
daily telegraph rugby league football

The ten moments that made Johnathan Thurston

AS he prepares to take the field for the final time, here's the 10 moments that defined the legendary career of Queensland hero Johnathan Thurston.

1. NRL Grand Final, October 4, 2015

The crowning moment of Thurston's career. With scores locked at 16-all at full-time against the Broncos, the decider hurtles into golden point. In the 83rd minute, Thurston steps up, snapping the one-pointer that breaks the Cowboys' 20-year premiership hoodoo.

Thurston led North Queensland to their first premiership. Picture by Brett Costello.
Thurston led North Queensland to their first premiership. Picture by Brett Costello.

2. Tri-Nations final, November 25, 2006

The first significant play of Thurston's Test career. The Tri-Nations decider against New Zealand finishes at 12-all. Extra-time is called. In the 87th minute, Thurston takes the ball 35 metres out from his line and produces his famous show-and-go. He bursts clear then releases Darren Lockyer for the match-winner.

The 2006 Tri Nations was Thurston’s first big moment in green and gold. Adam Head.
The 2006 Tri Nations was Thurston’s first big moment in green and gold. Adam Head.

3. State of Origin III, July 6, 2011

How can we forget the wheelchair moment. In Darren Lockyer's Queensland farewell, Thurston carves up in the first half to inspire a 24-0 lead. He goes off injured in the second half but is later pushed onto Suncorp in wheelchair as Maroons teammate rush to embrace him.

Thurston returned to the field in a wheelchair. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.
Thurston returned to the field in a wheelchair. Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images.

4. State of Origin III, July 2, 2008

Thurston wins the series. At 10-all with 14 minutes left, Thurston sees tired NSW forwards and ghosts to the short side. He slips through and finds Billy Slater for the match-winner. It caps a fine campaign for Thurston, who earns the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series.

Thurston made the difference in 2008.
Thurston made the difference in 2008.

5. State of Origin II, June 21, 2017

The ultimate warrior. Thurston injured his damaged shoulder in the first half but plays on. When Dane Gagai crosses to level scores at 16-all in the 77th minute, a busted Thurston lands a booming sideline conversion to keep the series alive. The Maroons go on to win the decider.

Thurston did it one more time in 2017. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
Thurston did it one more time in 2017. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

6. Cowboys v Storm, March 30, 2015

Facing a fourth straight loss to start the new season, Thurston saves the Cowboys. His field goal with 40 seconds left sends the match into extra-time, then he nails another one-pointer to snatch an 18-17 victory, igniting an 11-game winning streak.

North Queensland came back from the dead in 2015. Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images.
North Queensland came back from the dead in 2015. Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images.

7. Cowboys v Broncos, September 16, 2016

Thurston breaks the Broncos' hearts again. In a derby finals thriller, Thurston sets-up the extra-time match winner, producing a sublime flick pass for Michael Morgan to end Brisbane's season.

The wars with the Broncos were something special. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
The wars with the Broncos were something special. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

8. State of Origin III, July 5, 2006

The Maroons are facing their fourth straight series defeat when Thurston does it again. His show-and-go puts Brent Tate over to keep the Maroons alive at 14-10 before Darren Lockyer snatches a famous triumph to launch the record-breaking juggernaut.

Thurston was there for the start of the streak.
Thurston was there for the start of the streak.

9. Cowboys v Eels, September 25, 2005

The NRL grand-final qualifier. In his maiden season in Townsville, Thurston stars, even kicking a left-footed field goal to hammer the Eels 29-0 and clinch the club's first grand-final appearance.

Thurston took the Cowboys to an unlikely grand final.
Thurston took the Cowboys to an unlikely grand final.

10. NRL Grand Final, October 3, 2004

At just 21, Thurston wins his first grand final in Canterbury's defeat of the Roosters. Underlining his team-first attitude, he gives his premiership ring to injured skipper Steve Price.

It all began back at Canterbury.
It all began back at Canterbury.

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