Round 4 Preview: North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers


North Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers 
1300Smiles Stadium 
Thursday 29th March 
7.05pm (8.05pm AEDT) 

Cowboys: 
1 Ben Hampton
2 Kyle Feldt
3 Justin O'Neill
4 Javid Bowen
5 Antonio Winterstein
6 Michael Morgan
7 Johnathan Thurston (c)
8 Matthew Scott (c)
9 Jake Granville
10 Jordan McLean
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Coen Hess
13 Jason Taumalolo 

Interchange: 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 John Asiata, 16 Scott Bolton, 17 Ethan Lowe

Reserves: 18 Corey Jensen, 19 Lachlan Coote, 20 Francis Molo, 21 Enari Tuala 

Panthers: 
1 Dylan Edwards
2 Josh Mansour
3 Waqa Blake
4 Dean Whare
5 Christian Crichton
6 Tyrone Peachey
7 James Maloney
8 James Tamou
9 Peter Wallace (c)
10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
11 Viliame Kikau
12 Isaah Yeo
13 Trent Merrin 

Interchange: 14 Jarome Luai, 15 Corey Harawira-Naera, 16 Moses Leota, 17 James Fisher-Harris 

Reserves: 18 Wayde Egan, 19 Nick Lui-Toso, 20 Liam Martin, 21 Kaide Ellis

Preview: 

To start round 4 the Penrith Panthers will be traveling to Townsville missing their main man in Cleary to take on the North Queensland Cowboys. 

The Panthers surprisingly have a better head to head record against the Cowboys in Townsville but with the Panther's missing young gun Cleary it'll have to be a huge team effort for the Panthers to have any chance of beating the Cowboys, as they aim to get back on the winners list after back-to-back losses. 

Key match ups: 

Matt Scott vs James Tamou
Two great mates that have gone head to head at Origin level but have also been partners in the Cowboys grand final win back in 2015. Both of these men are still finding their groove after a 2017 season they'd both like to forget and with them going head to head it could just bring the best out in one another. 

Coen Hess vs Villame Kikau
These two are up there with the most exciting, attacking backrowers in the game presently. If they're not scoring tries they are setting them up for teammates with barnstorming runs and great off loads. But the biggest issue for both players isn't the attack that they can produce it's those momentary lapses in defence. Good chance that whoever gets the upper hand in this battle will go a long way to winning their side win the match.

Mansour vs the Cowboys
Every team loves a winger that can get those big metres early in the set and with DWZ out Josh Mansour has to be that man. His post contact metres from kick returns and early hit ups in the sets for the Panthers will be vital and if the Cowboys can stop him chewing up those big early metres they will go a long way in defeating the Panthers.

Prediction: 
You don't want to compare a young kid like Cleary to an immortal like Andrew Johns or a future immortal in Thurston, but I've got that feeling that the Panthers will suffer a similar fate to when the Knights and Cowboys used to have their main man out. Cowboys to win18 plus. 

-Boom

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