North Queensland struggled in front of a home crowd against the Penrith Panthers who managed to record a 33 points to 14 win over the Cowboys on Thursday night.
Despite the Cowboys being well backed leading into this game, the Panthers took to the field in Townsville and scored a four tries to three victory thanks to a twenty-one point haul by James Maloney. The Panthers dominated the match against a home team lacking in confidence.
Masterclass from Maloney
With his halves partner, Nathan Cleary out for ten weeks, Maloney was forced to play halfback, and was deservedly awarded man of the match on the night. Maloney put on a masterclass performance, and was incredibly impressive up against Thurston. He was influential on the Panthers effort, leading his side around the park, contributing the majority of points scored by the team on the night.
Not as Close as We Thought
Quite a number of people predicted this match to be a tight one, when it was in fact quite the opposite. The Panthers kept piling on point after point, leaving not much room for the Cowboys to make a comeback. Penrith have been in very close matches so far this season, and this was their biggest win yet for 2018.
Not Cowboys’ Night
It just wasn’t quite their night on Thursday. They were dominated entirely by the Panthers. Michael Morgan has recently returned from injury, and the partnership between him and Thurston seems to be lacking, which is currently causing problems for the team.
Good Start Equals Great Finish (in some cases!)
Thursday night’s game was definitely one of these cases. The Panthers had a strong start and were ahead by miles in attack and defence, leaving the Cowboys scratching their heads. By getting off to a strong start and leaving North Queensland a bit behind early on allowed them to gain momentum and take control of the game, leading to a great finish from the visiting squad.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
“It was a little bit frustrating” – Michael Morgan
“I wasn’t happy with it, but I saw a definite improvement in the areas that I asked” – Paul Green
North Queensland Cowboys 14
Tries: Kyle Feldt 2, Antonio Winterstein
Tries: Viliame Kikau, James Maloney, Waqa Blake, Moses Leota
Goals: James Maloney 8/8
Drop Goals: James Maloney
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