SYDNEY (AP) The Cronulla Sharks won their eighth consecutive match and moved into first place in Australia's National Rugby League after a 20-12 win over the Manly Sea Eagles on Saturday.
The win moved the Sharks two points clear of North Queensland, Brisbane and the Melbourne Storm.
On Friday, and not for the first time, a North Queensland-Brisbane derby match was decided by a Johnathan Thurston field goal.
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Thurston struck in the 75th minute to seal defending champion North Queensland's 19-18 win over Brisbane in Townsville, marking the third consecutive match between the state rivals that ended in a one-point margin of victory.
That includes the Cowboys' 2015 grand final result, which was also decided by Thurston's field goal in extra time, a 17-16 win.
The match Friday was Cowboys' co-captain Thurston's 250th game for North Queensland.
''I remember my first game for the Cowboys back in 2005 against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium when they bashed us up,'' he said. ''There have been some tough times and good times between those games.''
In other matches, the Wests Tigers beat the last-place Newcastle Knights 20-12 on Saturday, Canberra defeated the New Zealand Warriors 38-12 and South Sydney beat St. George Illawara 34-24.
On Sunday, Penrith hosts the Gold Coast Titans and the Canterbury Bulldogs meet the Sydney Roosters.