St George Illawarra have come from 10- 0 down to defeat North Queensland 22-14 in their NRL clash in Wollongong.
St George Illawarra have overcome pre-match drama and a double-digit deficit to boost their NRL finals hopes with a 22-14 win over North Queensland in Wollongong.
The Dragons scored 22 straight points either side of halftime to come from 10-0 down on Friday night and record just their second win in eight games to remain within two points of eighth spot.
They encountered difficulties before the march with some of their players arriving later than anticipated after a multi-vehicle fatal crash on the M1 Princes Motorway.
Caught up in the traffic, Dragons bench forward Jeremy Latimore left his car and hitched car and bike rides to make it to WIN Stadium before kick-off and record his 50th game for the club.
"This lad Brett picked me up an we turned right down Towradgi way and it was banked up massively back that way, so I said 'If I see anyone on a motorbike I'm just going to ask them if they can give me a ride,'" Latimore said.
"A lad drove past and I said 'Brother, can you drop me?'
"He's looked at me, he wasn't that keen. Then he goes 'Anything for the Dragons, get on the back'.
"We dodged some traffic and we beat a few of the boys (to the stadium)."
While the Dragons were satisfied, North Queensland fell two points behind their hosts on the ladder and slumped to a third straight loss.
They lost their way after captain and five-eighth Michael Morgan came off the ground in the 45th minute and didn't return after failing an HIA following a contentious tackle by Dragons' forward Tariq Sims.
"I thought it was late and high," said Cowboys coach Paul Green.
No penalty was awarded and Dragons' coach Paul McGregor had no issue with the tackle before taking a swipe at Green.
"He blows up about a fair bit, he had a go at (NSW Origin) coach Freddie Fittler last week, he's got a lot to say," McGregor said.
"I was comfortable with the tackle. He wrapped his arms around him, how can you stop that momentum?
"It was looked at, the scrum was packed. Move on, zip his mouth."
NSW State of Origin players Sims, Paul Vaughan and Tyson Frizell and Queensland's Ben Hunt became more influential as the game progressed.
Tries to centre Tom Opacic and former Melbourne utility back Scott Drinkwater, on debut, gave the Cowboys the early ascendancy
But Fijian winger Mikaele Ravalawa scored his team-leading eighth try of the season to bring the Dragons back into the game and they trailed by just four points at halftime.
Further tries to Matt Dufty, Euan Aitken and Jacob Host then put the Dragons in control at 22-10.
Opacic's second try pulled the Cowboys back to within eight points and with just over a minute left they had a potential score rubbed out for a forward pass, a decision that left Green bemused.