Brisbane Broncos were effectively consigned to NRL's wooden spoon for the first time in their history after Kyle Feldt's hat-trick led North Queensland Cowboys to a 32-16 victory.

The Broncos missed a chance to move off the foot of the table at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday and with a points difference almost twice as bad as Canterbury Bulldogs' -180, they are all but guaranteed to finish at the bottom of the standings.

Kotoni Staggs converted Payne Haas' early try for the hosts but was forced off in the 11th minute with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

In his final match before retiring, Darius Boyd – a premiership winner with the Broncos – extended Brisbane's lead but Jake Clifford, Feldt and Justin O'Neill crossed to send the Cowboys into the break in front.

Corey Oates restored parity before the hour mark but Feldt went over twice in the space of seven minutes, taking his tally for the season to a league-high 19 tries.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow touched down with four minutes remaining following a fine break from Valentine Holmes, and Gavin Cooper, making his final appearance before hanging up his boots, added the extras as the Cowboys finished the season on a high.