Johnathan Thurston

It was a strong win and a great way to bounce back for the North Queensland Cowboys, who disposed of the Penrith Panthers 30-18 but it did come at a cost, with halfback Robert Lui, playing in his first NRL game since his well publicised domestic violence case, suffering a knee injury.

Whilst not a serious injury, it was a blow for the Cowboys, who put on perhaps the best performance of the year against the Panthers at 1300 Smiles Stadium, led by club stalwarts Matt Bowen & Johnathan Thurston.

Following some previous poor performances, Cowboys co-captain Thurston was just pleased that his side managed to get the much needed win.

“It’s great to get the win. We just had to hold the ball. Completions in the first few weeks have been terrible,” said Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston.

“We were able to build some pressure up the middle and build on that.”

Penrith simply had no answer for the rampant Cowboys in the first half, with captain Kevin Kingston admitting his side was simply blown away.

“That first half was just shocking,” he said.

“The Cowboys are always good at home, we know that. But we are shellshocked.”

What makes matters worst for the Panthers, is back-rower Clint Newton placed on report for a high tackle, as Ivan Cleary tried to find some positives in his side’s performance, pinpointing the fact that for 62 minutes of the game, they managed to hold the Cowboys to just one converted try.

“We were always going to have to start well and get some confidence and it was the opposite,” he said.

“We just got worse. We didn’t give up and there were a lot of guys trying their hardest but the fact is, we were terrible.”

With the Broncos clash coming up next week, co-captain Matt Scott knows that his side have to improve.

“On the back of a good win against the Titans, no doubt there’ll be a massive crowd down at Suncorp and we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were tonight, that’s for sure,” said prop Scott.

“Opening the season (against Brisbane) is great but any time we come up against them is a game we look forward to.

“They’re tough games and they showed last night what a quality side they are.”

3. Johnathan Thurston
2. Matt Bowen
1. Kalifa Fai Fai Loa

By ricky

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