The North Queensland Cowboys have overrun the Penrith Panthers 30-0 at 1300SMILES Stadium as a crowd of 12,431 watched on.
The Cowboys saw the return of Robert Lui into the halfback role tonight, however his return was short lived as he picked up a dislocated knee in a tackle. Early diagnosis is that Lui could miss 2-4 weeks of NRL action.
After weeks of inconsitant performances, the Cowboys managed to score four straight tries in the opening 17 minutes. The first points claimed by Kalifa Faifai Loa who was awarded the four-pointer as he jumped and took the ball out of the arms of Dean Whare as they contested the high ball.
In the space of ten minutes the Cowboys posted a further three tries. Kane Linnett all power running through the defence as he busted over off a short pass from Matt Bowen. After seven minutes the Cowboys ahead 10-0.
Dean Whare did not have the best night at fullback for the Panthers as he again failed to defuse the bomb kick from the Cowboys. Antonio Winterstein out jumped Whare in the contest to post the Cowboys third four-pointer. Only minutes later Robert Lui scored his first try since Round 1, 2012 as another mistake from Penrith gifted the halfback his first try.
On the half time siren, Johnathan Thurston extended the lead with a peanlty goal from the right touchline. At the break, the North Queensland Cowboys lead 24-0.
North Queensland fired quickly straight off the second half kick off as Johnathan Thurston bolted 55 metres with a beautiful dummy-pass to set up Kane Linnett for his second try.The Cowboys held a 30-0 lead only two minutes into the second half.
Clint Newton may have some questions to answer in the match review after being placed on report for contact made to the head of Anthony Mitchell.
A second half saw a host of errors piled on by both sides, the Panthers held to nil with chances going astray throughout the contest.
Next week the Cowboys travel south to Suncorp Stadium to battle the Broncos in a Queensland derby. Meanwhile the Panthers head to the NSW north coast as they face the Newcastle Knights at Hunter Stadium.