Cowboys put the boot into Broncos

THE door slammed shut on Broncos legend Petero Civoniceva's glittering career after North Queensland ran away with a 33-16 win in their elimination final in Townsville on Saturday night.

But it was no picnic either for fellow retiring veteran Aaron Payne after the Cowboys stalwart lasted just 11 minutes before succumbing to what appeared to be a knee complaint.

Cowboys half-back Michael Morgan led the way for the home side with a hat-trick of tries.

In 2004 in a steamy Townsville, North Queensland abruptly drew the curtain on Broncos forward Gorden Tallis' career in the teams' only previous finals clash.

Eight years later, the Cowboys again showed little respect for another Brisbane great as Civoniceva's 15-season, 309-match career came to a shuddering halt thanks to the five tries-to-three win in front of 21,307 fans.

Read the full match report at ABC news online.