North Queensland's home woes have continued in a 23-16 NRL loss to a Roger Tuivasa-Sheck-inspired Warriors in a game which has left Michael Morgan in doubt for State of Origin II.
Tuivasa-Sheck on Friday evening set up tries for Ken Maumalo and Solomone Kata and scored one in between, racing 65 metres to score.
The last man he swivelled past en route to the tryline was Cowboys and Queensland Origin utility Morgan, whose trailing left arm was twisted back by the Kiwi fullback, leaving him with a suspected torn bicep.
Trailing 18-0 with halftime approaching, Kyle Feldt set up Javid Bowen for a try and scored two of his own in the second half.
The second try came when Tuivasa-Sheck could not collect Blake Green's deflected pass and Te Maire Martin sprinted 60m before passing to Feldt as the Warriors closed in on him.
Feldt later was pinged for a penalty for dissent, gifting the Warriors another shot at goal to extend their lead to six points.
The Cowboys dominated the second half and almost drew level in the closing stages when, after a superb Johnathan Thurston grubber, Tuivasa-Sheck barely grounded the ball in-goal ahead of Ben Hampton.
Shaun Johnson kicked a field goal, along with three conversions and two penalties, to ice the game in the last minute.
The loss is the Cowboys' sixth home defeat of the season and 11th in total, while the Warriors' win ensures they will remain in the top four at the end of round 15.
North Queensland coach Paul Green suggested Morgan would go for tests on Saturday to find out the extent of the damage.
"I think it's a bicep," Green said. "He'll go for scans (to) work out what's wrong."
Although disappointed with another near-miss, Green was happy the Cowboys showed the character he had called for after last round's loss to fellow stragglers Parramatta.
"We're nearly there but we've been nearly there in too many games this year," Green said.
"I was proud of the way we responded after last week.
"Obviously not happy with the result but ... some things that I questioned whether we had last week were there tonight."
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney was delighted with how his players hung on to grab just their second win in 13 visits to Townsville.
"It was a tough one in the sense we did some really good things in the first half and some not so good things in the second half," Kearney said.
"The Cowboys came up with good momentum in the second half and we failed to match it. We were just hanging in there really.
"I was really pleased for the boys to find a way to win and keep the Cowboys out.
"Sometimes it's going to be like that."