Round 4 Cowboys v Panthers Review

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The North Queensland Cowboys and the Penrith Panthers kicked off the Easter Weekend of football up in Townsville, with both teams coming off away losses last week. No changes were made for North Queensland, while James Fisher-Harris started for the Panthers. Wayne Egan made his debut from the bench with Jarome Luai dropped from the squad.

The game started and the penalties were racked up early, with the Panthers given an early warning for ill-discipline. In the end, it would be Penrith who would take the early after 5 minutes with a penalty goal to James Maloney.

The points would keep racking up for Penrith, with James Maloney supplying a beautiful short ball to Viliame Kikau, who barrelled his way over from 10 metres out. Maloney would convert the try to make it 8-0 after 16 minutes. The misery would keep piling on for the Cowboys, as poor ball control and good Penrith defense would hinder any attacking chances they had.

Penrith made it 14-0 just 7 minutes later after a kick from Maloney ricocheted off half the players legs and back into his own hands to go over the stripe for Penrith. Maloney would convert his own try to shock the Cowboys crowd into silence.

The Penrith ill-discipline would continue however, with a second sin bin warning given to the Panthers after three quick penalties defending the goal line. The action would come after the next set, as James Tamou flopped on a returning Ben Hampton to end up in the bin on his 200th game.

It would prove costly, as Kyle Feldt would head over in the right corner off some slick hands from Coen Hess and Michael Morgan 5 minutes from the half time siren. Jonathon Thurston shanked his kick to the right, but it put some vigour into the Cowboys defense. That would end in vain as a James Maloney penalty goal after some enterprising play saw Josh Mansour taken out, leading to a 16-4 scoreline at half time.

The second half started the same way, with Penrith taking the penalty goal to extend the margin to 14. Another penalty goal saw Penrith take a 16 point lead 8 minutes into the second half.

Antonio Winterstein went over to bring a little hope to the Cowboys fans after some lovely work from Thurston and Hampton, with Thurston shanking his second kick of the night to keep it at 12.

That would be the end of the Cowboys hopes though, with Waqa Blake running over to extinguish any thoughts of a comeback. Maloney would continue his hot streak with the boot to make it an 18 point lead with 23 points to go.

The Panthers would continue to pressure the Cowboys, as the injuries would pile up. Javid Bowen went off early in the game, Antonio Winterstein came off and back on under the HIA rule and Jordan McLean went off with a foot complaint late in the game. Kyle Feldt went over for a double with some slick play from Hampton and Morgan with 6 to go; Thurston sinking the kick to make it 12 points.

That would be it for the Cowboys, as James Maloney grabbed a field goal for himself and Moses Leota managed to get his first NRL try with just a minute to go. Maloney made it 8/8 as Penrith managed to grab a huge upset win on the road.

Penrith will look to continue this form next week against Parramatta while the Cowboys have to travel to Auckland to play a rampaging New Zealand Warriors.



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