One more play was all there was. The buzzer had gone. ONE. MORE. PLAY. Legs were jelly; they had been for the past 15 minutes. Lungs were burning; each breath carried a little taste of blood in the mouth.
Johnathan Thurston calls the ball on the left, the Cowboys are 15 metres out from the try-line. He goes to his left and meets pressure, he comes back towards the middle and shrugs out of two tackles, he confronts Corey Parker and basketballs a pass over the top.
The ball finds its way to Michael Morgan, he gets to the outside, he slips between Brisbane defenders; they desperately grab at his jersey, his right arm gets free and he finds Kyle Feldt who crosses in the corner.
Thurston lines the kick up from the sideline. It’s the fairytale that only rugby league can provide. The reigning Dally M medallist, the best player all season, handed the opportunity to win the match with a kick for goal from the sideline.
The kick starts just outside the right upright and begins its traditional Thurston swing back towards the black dot.
It’s coming around, coming around, coming around and… disaster; the ball deflects off the right hand upright and the conversion is unsuccessful.
16-16 and the Broncos get first use of the football in golden point. Or so they think.
Ben Hunt spills the swirling kick off 10 metres out from his own line.
It’s now one play at a time. Brisbane cling on, their season hanging by a knife’s edge. The Cowboys try to set for a field goal twice. Brisbane manage to prevent it twice.
Both sides are playing on nothing but heart. The tank was emptied a long time ago.
The Cowboys go to their left before slowly bringing the ball back to the middle.
Thurston stands back. He knows this is the ONE. FINAL. PLAY. He takes the dummy-half pass, steadies and snaps. It never looks like missing. The ball sails over the black dot and into rugby league history.
He’s done it. Johnathan Thurston has done it. With one more play, he’s done it.