2024 NRL: Round 8 Preview, Cowboys Vs Panthers

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 8 clash between the Cowboys and Panthers.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Date: Saturday April 27, 19:35

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Valentine Holmes, 4. Tomas Chester, 5. Semi Valemei, 6. Tom Dearden, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Jordan McLean, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Griffin Neame, 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Reuben Cotter, 14. Jake Granville, 15. Jason Taumalolo, 16. Sam McIntyre, 17. Thomas Mikaele, 18. Viliami Vailea, 19. Jack Gosiewski, 20. Marly Bitungane, 21. Jamal Shibasaki, 22. Jake Clifford

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Sunia Turuva, 3. Izack Tago, 4. Taylan May, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Mitch Kenny, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Scott Sorensen, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo, 14. Daine Laurie, 15. Lindsay Smith, 16. Liam Henry, 17. Luke Garner, 18. Matt Eisenhuth, 19. Paul Alamoti, 20. Brad Schneider, 21. Mavrik Geyer, 22. Tyrone Peachey

Referee: Kasey Badger

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

There are no mass changes for the Cowboys after their brutal 42-6 defeat against the Sharks last weekend. However, Jason Taumalolo has been shifted to the bench with Griffin Neame named to start. Jack Gosiewski has been dropped to the reserves, with Thomas Mikaele the new man on the bench for his first game of the season.

For the Panthers, Nathan Cleary is finally back in a huge boost for the defending premiers. Brad Schneider will drop out of the team after solidly filling in over the past couple of weeks. Taylan May will also return after missing last week due to personal reasons, with Paul Alamoti named in the reserves.

Penrith came away with the two points in round 7 in a 22-6 win over the Tigers in Bathurst – with the game much closer than the scoreline suggests. Without Cleary, they still won two of the past three games and their defence remains one of the best in the competition.

The Cowboys are still sitting inside the top eight, with a 4-3 record, but they’ve left a lot to be desired so far this year. Only the Rabbitohs have conceded more points this season, and with Cleary back, the Penrith attack will be out for blood.

The Panthers hold the superior record over the Cowboys in recent times, winning five of their past seven clashes, including a 44-12 drubbing in round 27 last year with Penrith missing a couple of key players.

The Cowboys have the home field advantage, but they should struggle to crack a Panthers defence that is only conceding 15 points per game. With the North Queensland defence really struggling as well, Penrith should be too good.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 8 Number Crunch.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Panthers by 10 points.

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