Cowboys & Knights headed
for blockbuster

Penrith maintained its strong start to the NRL season with a 44-18 win over Parramatta yesterday but halfback Craig Gower spent the night in hospital after coughing blood from a hit to the body. The Panthers sit third on the ladder with three wins from four games.

The Bulldogs pounded Canberra 30-12, the Raiders kept scoreless until the 67th minute. Manly made it three wins from five matches by downing the New Zealand Warriors 22-8.

But the stage is set for a top of the table blockbuster at Newcastle on Sunday between last year's grand finalists North Queensland Cowboys and wooden spooners the Knights. Both teams flexed their premiership muscle in round five with resounding victories over two of the best teams in the competition.

The unbeaten Cowboys spanked premiers Wests Tigers 32-12 in a grand final re-match on Friday Newcastle belted pre-season title favourite St George Illawarra 54-6 on Saturday.