Val Holmes field goal wins North Queensland Cowboys over Cronulla Sharks, video

North Queensland came from being six points down with less than a minute to play, to beating Cronulla in what was a 92-minute finals thriller at Shark Park.

The home side held an eight-point lead and looked almost certain to win until Connor Tracey was sin-binned with eight minutes left on the clock.

The Cowboys kicked the penalty conversion after Tracey was marched to make it a six-point deficit.

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Then, in the 80th minute, the Cowboys sent barnstorming lock Jason Taumalolo through a hole to score, and the ensuing conversion levelled things 30-30 when the siren sounded.

The two teams went to extra-time but neither could hit the scoreboard in the 10 additional minutes.

Then heading to golden point, it took a 40-metre Valentine Holmes field goal to seal the deal as North Queensland triumphed 32-30.

“We’ve got the ice man – he just does freakish stuff when it matters,” Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater said of Holmes.

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The man of the moment was struggling to speak when interviewed by Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston.

“I don’t know, it was literally a team effort,” an exhausted Holmes said.

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“We spoke about it, we needed to run hard through the middle. I needed room and Jase (Taumalolo) to get me a quick play-the-ball.

“This is what we play for… I can’t believe it, we’re going to a grand final qualifier. Holy shit I’m speechless.”

The Cowboys now earn a home qualifying final in Townsville, and a week off.

The Sharks must do it the hard way, playing either South Sydney or the Roosters next week.

Freddy defends controversial sin-bin

“That’s heartbreaking stuff. I thought we had done enough to win that game,” Sharks playmaker Nicho Hynes told Nine.

“A bit hard done by, I reckon, that (Tracey) sin-bin. They (he and Holmes) were shoulder to shoulder and he gets sin-binned for that.

“But we’ve still got to defend our line there. They got the job done, and we didn’t, so on to the next one now.”

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