The North Queensland Cowboys looked to avoid losing ten games on the bounce as they faced a St George Illawarra Dragons side still looking to get into the finals.
The Dragons started the brighter as Valentine Holmes failed to gather the ball on the last tackle, to gift Jordan Pereira an open opportunity, but the winger failed to take the chance.
From the scrum following Holmes’ knock-on, the ball was spread the Matt Dufty out the back on the right edge, but Mikaele Ravalawa failed to keep hold of the final chance for what would have been a certain try.
It was the Cowboys who opened the scoring though as Francis Molo received a short pass from Reuben Cotter to crash over under the posts.
St George didn’t quite look sharp in attack over the opening 20-minutes but following a break from Corey Norman, the ball was shifted to the left and Euan Aitken found himself with loads of space and slid over.
On the half-hour mark, the Dragons shifted the ball to their right-edge towards Lomax who flicked the ball out the Ravalawa.
Ravalawa found himself stood upright less than a metre from the line, and under serious pressure from Tabuai-Fidow but somehow managed to tip-toe to stay infield and ground the ball spectacularly.
Norman made another break down the middle as the half came to a close, but despite being able to cross himself, looked for the pass which then hit the deck.
However, in the build-up, Adam Clune was pulled back by Scott Drinkwater for a penalty.
Lomax converted from the tee to give the Dragons a six-point lead.
HALF-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 6-12 St George Illawarra Dragons
The Cowboys started the second half with ball in hand and Jake Clifford’s kick was allowed to bounce by the Dragons.
Justin O’Neill tapped the ball back to Valentine Holmes, who pushed the ball to Kyle Feldt.
Feld then slowed play down before offloading out the back to Clifford, who finished off in style after dummying past Dufty and diving over in the corner.
Five minutes later, the Dragons were back in front after Clune ran to the line and stepped past Drinkwater before putting Jacob Host through a gap and over the line.
The lead didn’t last too long though, as Drinkwater looked to attack the edge before passing back inside to Holmes to cross.
Holmes converted his own try to make it 18-18.
Cotter was penalised for a ball strip with more than one in the tackle right in front of the posts.
This allowed Lomax to give the Dragons a two-point lead with 16 minutes remaining.
St George then conceded a penalty of their own after Blake Lawrie interfered at the ruck.
Instead of taking the two, the Cowboys kicked to touch.
Two tackles later, Drinkwater showed the ball and made a half-break on the outside of Clune before offloaded to Kyle Feldt who walked over to take the lead.
With the Cowboys just two points ahead, they had to keep their discipline.
However, with three minutes remaining Esan Marsters was called offside.
Lomax had the opportunity to level back up and struck the ball straight between the posts for 22-22.
Clifford was the first to attempt a field-goal from 40-metres out, but the ball stayed right of the posts.
This gave the Dragons a seven-tackle set with 48 seconds remaining.
Lomax attempted a shot of his own but failed to hit the target with the game going to golden-point.
FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 22-22 St George Illawarra Dragons
Corey Norman struck a sweet field-goal from 40-metres but dragged the ball slightly wide.
Holmes was the next to attempt a field goal but it was charged down before the ricochet was knocked on by Aitken.
Two tackles later, and just 20-metres out, Holmes struck perfectly through the posts to pick up the win.
GOLDEN-POINT FULL-TIME: North Queensland Cowboys 23-22 St George Illawarra Dragons
North Queensland Cowboys
Holmes, Feldt, O’Neill, Marsters, Tabuai-Fidow, Drinkwater, Clifford, Molo, Cotter, McLean, Dunn, Gilbert, McGuire
Interchanges: Cooper, Asi, Asiata, Jensen
Tries: Molo, Clifford, Holmes, Feldt
Goals: Holmes (3/4)
St George Illawarra Dragons
Dufty, Pereira, Aitken, Lomax, Ravalawa, Norman, Clune, Lawrie, Hunt, Kerr, Frizell, Host, McInnes
Interchanges: Brittain, Ford, Fuimaono, Ellis
Tries: Aitken, Ravalawa, Host
Goals: Lomax (5/6)
Referee: A. Gee
Touch Judges: T. Smith, D. Oultram
Video Referee: B.Galea
Image Source: @NRL (twitter)