Match Summary The Penrith Panthers have claimed a very unexpected 22-12 win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville tonight. The Panthers led 12-0 at half time and never looked to be under threat at any stage of the match, while Panthers halfback Craig Gower left the match early in the first half with a hamstring strain.
The Panthers had an early try to Luke Priddis ruled out for a knock on, but that set the tone for the evening. The Panthers had a lot of possession at the right end of the field, but could only convert it into points on the half hour, after Gower had left the field when Pritchard broke through the Cowboys defence to score out wide.
Five minutes later the lead was extended to 10-0 after Joel Clinton pounced on a bomb left to bounce by the Cowboys and claimed his own try. The Panthers lead was rounded out to 12 points on halftime following a penalty on Carl Webb who was ruled to have lifted his elbow into a Penrith defender while taking a hit up.
The Cowboys spent almost the entirety of the first 20 minutes of the second half on attack, but could show nothing for their efforts. The match was all but sealed following a Cowboys error that led to a Brendan Worth try and an 18-0 lead.
The Cowboys had brief hope at 18-6 following a try off a Thurston grubber, however Scott Minto spilling a bomb led to Luke Lewis scoring a try. The Cowboys made the scoreline more flattering to themselves with a Scott Bolton try with three minutes to go.
According to Penrith officials, the Craig Gower injury is not serious. If selected, he reportedly will be able to front up for New South Wales.
Round 9 - Full Time :: May 12th, 2007 07:30 PM Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell
North Queensland Cowboys 12 Tries: Brad Anderson, Scott Bolton Goals: Johnathan Thurston (2/2) Penrith Panthers 22 Tries: Frank Pritchard, Joel Clinton, Brendan Worth, Luke Lewis Goals: Michael Gordon (3/5)
LeagueUnlimited Live Commentary
Both teams taking to the field now.
1st min: Underway in Townsville!
3rd min: The Cowboys make a good break off some fine backline play and it is safely shut down by the Panthers.
6th min: The Panthers spread the ball to Gordon, Bowen makes a try saving tackle and as Gorden tries again and loses the ball just short of the line. Brilliant scrambling defence.
10th min: VIDEO REF - For a Panthers try...
10th min: NO TRY - Panthers Luke Priddis is ruled to have lost the ball diving over the line. Shortly afterwards Minto throws a forward pass.
14th min: Plenty of errors so far, no score yet.
15th min: The Panthers put up a desperation kick, Faumuina knocks on trying to dive on the loose ball. First tackle from the scrum and Penrith knock on.
18th min: Penrith lose the ball right on attack. Very poor skill level so far tonight.
21st min: Thurston fails to find touch from a penalty kick.
22nd min: The Panthers run the ball on the last, again great defence from the Cowboys saves a try by a matter of inches.
23rd min: Thurston makes a half break inside his own half, but offloads to a Panthers player.
23rd min: The Panthers spin the ball left, the final pass is too awkward and goes into touch. This is a very dire game so far.
24th min: INJURY - Craig Gower leaving the field with an injury.
27th min: Bowen saves another try, kicking a loose ball dead right out from under Wessers nose.
29th min: The Panthers pick up another line drop out.
30th min: TRY Penrith Panthers Pritchard breaks the line out wide and dots down near the corner. Finally someone puts some points on the board, Penrith converting the weight of possession. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 6-0
35th min: VIDEO REF - For another Panthers try...
35th min: TRY Penrith Panthers Wallace puts up a bomb, it bounces poorly for the Cowboys and Clinton picks it up brilliant and dives over for a try out wide. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 10-0
38th min: The Panthers very nearly score again, great Cowboys defence. The Panthers get a drop out however.
40th min: Gordon puts the ball down with the Panthers looking good on attack.
40th min: Carl Webb penalised for raising the elbow while running with the ball.
HALFTIME min: The Panthers take a fully deserved 12-0 lead to halftime over a listless Cowboys side. The Panthers ought to be ahead by more, however poor finishing sees them up by 12.
The teams are back for the second half.
40th min: Back underway!
43rd min: INJURY UPDATE - The Gower injury is apparently a hamstring strain. He will not return tonight, but if selected for Origin he will front.
51st min: INJURY - Matt Bowen groggy after being tackled.
51st min: Cowboys pick up a drop out.
53rd min: Panthers lose the ball 10 metres out from their own line.
53rd min: All the momentum with the Cowboys as they pick up a penalty.
55th min: Jennings makes a great take on a Thurston kick, and the Panthers hold out.
57th min: Cashmere forces Priddis back into the in goal with pure strength.
59th min: The Panthers are ruled to have knocked on contesting a small cross kick from the Cowboys - another scrum 10 out. Surely they can get over eventually.
60th min: The Cowboys spin the ball wide, but it is dropped forward on tackle two by Wayne Bennetts love child.
62 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Off the back of a Cowboys error, Worth crashes through the Cowboys defence, probably wrapping the game up. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 18-0
65 min: VIDEO REF - For a Cowboys try...
FULLTIME: The Panthers win their first game in six weeks, defeating a lackluster Cowboys outfit 22-12.