Early on it looked like the greatest NRL half-back of all time was going to sign off a loser. But, North Queensland just wouldn’t have it.
The Cowboys went into the sheds at half-time on Saturday night, trailing the Titans 18-6.
A sold-out CBUS Super Stadium was roaring for ‘JT’. And after the break, he delivered.
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Johnathan Thurston pulled his iconic head-gear back on and walked out ready to go out a winner.
The Cowboys crawled back to be just two-points down with nine-minutes on the clock when the legendary No.7 chipped and guided Gavin Cooper across the line to put the visitor’s ahead 24-20.
They got further ahead when Gideon Gela-Mosby scored off a 60m intercept effort, before Brenko Lee had the final say for the Titans in the 80th-minute to see the game end 30-26 in favour of the crowd favourites.
Almost 27,000 people packed into the Robina ground to see off Queensland’s favourite son, and they weren’t disappointed.
“The support has been overwhelming and humbling at the same time,” Thurston told the crowd after the match.
“I can’t thank the game of rugby league enough for the life that it’s given me.”
While Gold Coast captain Ryan James had nothing but praise for JT, despite copping an uncharacteristic bruising tackle in the 34th minutes.
“At least I’ll be in his highlights reel forever,” James joked before going on to heap praise on the man everyone’s predicting will be a ‘future Immortal’.
“He played a great game, he’s just a competitor. Everything he touches turns to gold, everything he does works out for him.”
As for what JT will be doing on his first day of ‘retirement’, likely enjoying his greatest role of all: being a dad.
He’ll celebrate Father’s Day with his three daughters and wife Sam, who is expecting their fourth child next year.