The Panthers have escaped with a late win over the struggling Cowboys, edging ahead 24-16 in the dying stages to prevent a 4th straight loss for the 2nd placed NRL club.
Despite being at CUA Stadium, the Panthers were made to work for every point by the upbeat Cowboys – the visitors having a real chance of the win, until making some poor decisions late in the game. Discipline probably costing Neil Henry’s side at a massive upset win.
It was ‘that’ close, the scores locked at 16-all with only 5 minutes to go – if not for a Michael Gordon piece of magic late, the Panthers were headed for golden point.
The Cowboys provided a good showing through their talented outside backs, the likes of Tonga, Bowen and Graham combining nicely for points and getting the visitors ahead in the clash.
The positive to come out of this one for Penrith, was their point scoring through other means than kicks. Often maligned for their tries from aerial raids – Penrith used the hands, speed and nous to get over the notch up points in this one.
Coach Matt Elliott will probably be happy that his side were made to work for the victory, as opposed to a training run that probably wouldn’t give them any gauge as to where they are at – after 3 weeks of pain.
Cowboys maestro Jonathan Thurston again found himself in trouble with the referees, the Queensland halfback later saying he feels he is being targeted – but it’s a case of the halfback not keeping his mouth shut. He always has too much to say and it’s costing his team all too often – the sooner he cuts it out of his game, the better he and the Cowboys will be traveling.
Next week the North Queensland side host the Broncos in the local derby – while the Panthers will be aiming to make it 2 on the trot when they travel away to meet the Raiders, coach Matt Elliott sure to want to get one up on his old team.