IT WAS never going to reach the same dizzying heights of last year's 17-16 epic golden-point grand final, or was it?
Brisbane's 21-20 golden-point win over premiers North Queensland off the boot of man-of-the-match Anthony Milford, who slotted an amazing 40-metre field goal with 18 seconds left, will go down as one of the great rugby league battles of all time.
It had the 46,176 fans electrified for 84 minutes and 42 seconds until Milford's golden strike ended the contest that had everything and more with grand final hero Kyle Felt denied a match-winning try and then Johnathan Thurston suffering the same fate in the 84th minute.
Before that the Cowboys had led 18-14 and trailed 20-18 before a Thurston penalty locked the scores up 20-all after 80 minutes.
Thurston was fuming after Milford's winning kick, claiming Brisbane had knocked on in the lead-up play.
Rarely has a game produced so much drama with The Bunker working overtime as both Brisbane and the Cowboys had tries taken off them during the high-quality clash.
Brisbane made all the early running getting out to an 10-0 lead after two early Corey Parker penalties and a scrambling try to brilliant five-eighth Milford after 22 minutes which Parker also converted.
BRISBANE 21 (Anthony Milford, James Roberts tries. Corey Parker six goals. Milford field goal) bt NTH QLD 20 (Jake Granville, Michael Morgan, Eathan Lowe tries. Johnathan Thurston four goals.)