A number of injuries to key Gold Coast Titans made the challenge against North Queensland even tougher on Saturday night.
Losing Phil Sami before kick-off after not being passed fit by medicos at the captain's run, the club was hit with a further blow as workhorse Jaimin Jolliffe succumbed to injury after coming off in the 18th minute of the contest in Townsville.
With the Cowboys securing a 30-4 victory, the Titans will return to the Gold Coast on Sunday, where a further assessment of the injury toll will be made before Friday's clash against Penrith at Cbus Super Stadium.
Match: Cowboys v Titans
Round 7 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
The home side were first to score in the sixth minute when Murray Taulagi ran down the western touch line before linking with Tom Dearden, who crossed first to lead 6-0.
After settling into the contest, the Titans had a weight of possession in the 16th minute before striking gold, with a quick shift from the middle to the right through the hands of Jaimin Jolliffe and Toby Sexton, who found David Fifita - beating two defenders before offloading to Jamayne Isaako who was in open pastures to score first points for the visitors.
Isaako hits back for the Titans
More points came for North Queensland in the 20th minute when Taulagi crossed from a Dearden kick to further extend their lead to 12-4.
Queensland Country Bank Stadium erupted when Kyle Feldt thought he had the Cowboys' third try in the 25th minute, before a further inspection by the Bunker fortuitously overturned the four-pointer due to Beau Fermor being obstructed.
Six minutes later, the home team bagged another try - this time through Scott Drinkwater, who broke through the scrum and used his speed to split through Titans defenders to score an unstoppable four-pointer that most teams in the NRL would've had trouble in halting.
Coming out of the sheds for the second half, both teams fought hard in the first 25 minutes before Jeremiah Nanai - fresh from a 10-minute stint in the sin bin for a dangerous throw - extended the Cowboys' lead to 22-4 after leaping and grasping a Chad Townsend cross-field kick to score.
A Holmes penalty goal in the 69th minute added two more points to the tally.
Helium Luki added the cherries on top for the Cowboys, leaping to score and push the lead out to 30-4, which was the final score at the end of the 80 minutes.