Panthers Look To Bounce Back

Picture: Gregg Porteous/The Daily Telegraph
Lewis Brown has been the Panthers 'Mr Fix It' in 2013. Picture: Gregg Porteous/The Daily Telegraph
Last 5 Meetings

Round 5, 2013 – North QLD Cowboys 30 d Penrith Panthers 0 at Townsville
Round 11, 2012 - North QLD Cowboys 30 d Penrith Panthers 28 at Townsville
Round 21, 2011 - North QLD Cowboys 30 d Penrith Panthers 18 at Townsville
Round 16, 2011 – Penrith Panthers 30 d North QLD Cowboys 20 at Penrith
Round 21, 2010 - Penrith Panthers 24 d North QLD Cowboys 16 at Penrith

Current Form

  Rd 17    Rd 18    Rd 19    Rd 20    Rd 21 
Panthers

W

W

L

L

L

Cowboys

L

L

-

L

W


The Panthers  will be looking to break a run of three straight defeats when they host the Cowboys  on Sunday night, with both clubs still harbouring aspirations of playing finals football. Despite being 11th and 13th on the ladder respectively, both remain a mathematical chance of finishing in the top eight, although they would have to win all of their remaining matches, starting with this one.

Penrith has had a torrid time with injuries this season and will be without two more of its stars for this fixture, with Sika Manu and Adam Docker ruled out after picking up injuries in the clubs hefty loss to the Roosters last Friday night. Lewis Brown returns to the backrow after lining up at centre in round 21, while Geoff Daniela and Nathan Smith have been added to the squad with Ryan Simpkins starting at lock.

The Cowboys snapped a four game losing streak with their 30-12 victory over the Rabbitohs in Townsville last week and will be keen to build on the momentum that they started to build in that match. Unsurprisingly, Neil Henry has made only a minor alteration to the squad that did the job for him last week, with utility Rory Kostjaysn replaced the disappointing Scott Moore on the bench.


1st Tryscorer

David Simmons  opened the scoring for Penrith in the third minute against the Roosters in round 21, meaning that he has been the first player on the scoresheet four times in his past 11 outings. He is second in the 2013 NRL tryscoring charts with 16 four pointers during the current campaign.

Kane Linnett  had the best game of his North Queensland career against the Rabbitohs last weekend, running for 212m, effecting six tackle busts and crossing for two tries. He has become increasingly important in the Cowboys attacking structures and will again be a man that JT tries to get plenty of ball to.


Prediction

Ivan Cleary could not have asked for more from his troops this season but he has been forced to blood a lot of youngsters due to the clubs long injury list and the long campaign is starting to take its toll. The Cowboys have won the past three meetings between these sides – including a 30-0 victory in round five – and will be too good again if they can repeat last week’s performance against Souths. North Queensland Cowboys by 4

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