North Queensland have sealed a top-four finish in the NRL with a hard-fought 32-16 win over Gold Coast in Townsville.The Cowboys will finish fourth on the ladder and have a double chance in their quest for back-to-back premierships.Gold Coast, however, are sweating on Sundays match between the Wests Tigers and Canberra to know if theyll reach the finals for the first time since 2010.A win for the Tigers at Leichhardt would enable them to leapfrog the Titans into eighth spot.Just like last weekend against Penrith, the Titans made life hard for themselves with a slow start to the match.The Cowboys opened the scoring through Justin ONeill in the fifth minute when he outjumped Josh Hoffman to claim a Lachlan Coote kick.Jarryd Hayne, playing his second match at fullback for the Titans, then came up with a crucial error to allow the Cowboys to extend their lead.The two-time Dally M medallist appeared to have defused a Cowboys attack but spilt a grubber and Antonio Winterstein pounced to open up a 12-0 lead midway through the half.It was a costly error by Hayne, who endured a torrid night in the No.1 jersey.While their superstar recruit wasnt firing, the Titans resisted a wave of Cowboys pressure and managed to get themselves back into the contest by halftime.Winger David Mead, who sat out most of the first half undergoing a head-injury assessment after an early collision with Kane Linnett, snared a Nathan Friend cross-field kick to put the visitors on the board in the 32nd minute and ensure the margin was just six points at halftime.The Cowboys came out firing in the second half and extended their lead to 20-6 through a try to Gavin Cooper and a Johnathan Thurston penalty goal.Ryan James 11th try of the season in the 57th minute gave the Titans hope of securing the win which would have ensured their finals berth.Cowboys prop James Tamous try put the hosts out beyond two converted tries again but the Titans just refused to lie down, Konrad Hurrell running 88 metres with an intercept in the 71st minute to give the visitors hope.A late injury scare to Cowboys captain Thurston threatened to ruin the premiers night but the Queensland and Australian star recovered to set up Cooper for the final try of the match. 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CHICAGO -- Dressed in dark, furry bear suits from head to toe, Lisa Burton and Brian Robinson stood on Waveland Avenue, waiting to walk up to the rooftop of Beyond the Ivy and watch the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years.Burton, 39, and Robinson, 43, said they paid a total of $7,500 for a pair of tickets to take in all three games against Cleveland from across the street this weekend. The engaged couple made its way to Chicagos North Side from Birmingham, Alabama.All that money, and theyre not even sitting inside the ballpark.It felt like a bargain, Robinson said before the Cubs 1-0 loss Friday night. Ive been a Cubs fan since I was about 6 years old. I was born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi. You had two choices: You could watch the Braves or the Cubs. But Harry Caray was so much more fun to watch, even when the Cubs stunk, which was most of the time. He was the reason why I became a Cubs fan.When the World Series last came to Wrigley Field, a Game 7 loss to Detroit on Oct. 10, 1945, the major leagues were all-white, the championship was played in the daytime, television had not yet come to the Fall Classic and soldiers were coming home from World War II.Now the Cubbies were home in the Friendly Confines, three victories from their first title since 1908. And on an uncommonly warm 63-degree night with the wind blowing out to left and center at 14 mph, Wrigleyville was the meeting grounds for fans who long imagined a day like this, part hope, part pipe-dream.Only now if was coming true.Back in 1945, Series box seats had a list price of $7.20. This years tickets ranged from $85 to $565, and asking prices on StubHub a few hours before game time ranged from $1,019 to $9,439.Debbie Manfredi, of suburban Algonquin, stood on Kenmore Avenue trying to snag balls off the bat of right-handed hitters during batting practice. The 49-year-old, wearing a Cubs jersey signed by Ron Santo, has had season tickets in the lower deck behind third base for five years -- after 11 years spent on the waiting list. Her late father, Richard, grew up in Wrigleyville and rode his bicycle to games, then had season tickets in the 1970s. Debbie was taking her 15-year-old daughter, Taylor, to the game.I started believing last year, and this year you just felt it from the beginning. You just knew, Debbie Manfredi said.Not far away, fans were being fed hot dogs outside the two-story building that houses Engine Co. 78 and Ambulance Co. 6. Many held white flags with a blue W, a variation of the one that flies from the scoreboard after home wins.With seats painted in a dark Benjamin Moore Wrigley Field Green SC-62 and poles holding up its roof (and creating obstructed views), Wrigley is the focal point of its gentrified neighborhood, about 5 1/2 miles from The Loop downntown.dddddddddddd Even the handles of the doors of Starbucks across from the right-field corner are made of baseball bats.Hours before the crowd of 41,703 filed into Wrigley, the line to get into Murphys Bleachers snaked down Sheffield Avenue toward Addison Street, which runs along the first-base side of the ballpark. Statues of Ron Santo and Billy Williams had new jerseys and red roses, and Carays had a yellow apple in one hand.Youre getting to play in a museum -- for work, said 39-year-old Cubs catcher David Ross, who is retiring after the Series. Last year I walked to the park a lot and that was my favorite thing about last year, was just walking to the park and feeling the energy of the fans.Known as Weeghman Park when it opened for Chicagos Federal League club in 1914, Wrigley has been the Cubs home since 1916 and it retains most of its traditional look, even in the midst of a $375 million renovation that created a spacious new Cubs underground clubhouse this season and will lead to the relocation of the bullpens from foul territory to underneath the bleachers next year.The second-oldest ballpark in the major leagues behind Bostons Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley did not even have lights for night games until 1988. A pair of video boards were erected last year, 42-by-95 feet in left and 29-by-71 feet in right, flanking the hand-operated green scoreboard with white lettering and a circular clock atop the center-field bleachers, a focal point like a cherry on a cake.Cramped dugouts are more like World War I trenches than the roomy, comfy benches in more modern venues. The famous ivy along with red brick outfield walls, first installed in 1937, is green during sultry summers and thick enough to gobble up balls ahead of searching outfielders in baseballs version of Little Shop of Horrors, but in the cool of autumn it has dulled and thinned, starting to turn brown in patches.Its how baseball is supposed to be, said Indians manager Terry Francona, who played for the 1986 Cubs. When I was here, they didnt have the new clubhouse, so it was fun being at the ballpark until it was time to shower or go to the bathroom or something.Wrigley hosted Series games in 1929, `32, `35, `38 and `45, with the Cubs losing their first five and 11 of 13 overall entering this year.This is so enveloping. The fact that the bleachers come all the way around, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. I drive down Clark every day from downtown, and as you get closer, you see all the venues that support all this, and also the people milling around. Anyplace Ive been, I havent seen that with any ballpark to that level. So its enormity in its entirety, its just different. ' ' '