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The North Queensland Cowboys delighted fans at Dairy Farmers Stadium putting on a dominant second half performance to account for the Penrith Panthers and snatch the game with a smashing 30-18 victory.
First half honours were all Penrith's despite losing some key players in various on field incidents. Penrith dominated in both attack and defence in the opening forty, but the fact that the first half finished two tries to one ensured the hosts remained well in the game.
Penrith collected the game;s first points in the twenty seventh minute with a try to Brad Tighe burrowing over from dummy half after a few repeat sets to the Panthers in prime real estate. Cowboys levelled minutes later after Luke Walsh was sin binned for a professional foul. The Cowboys took advantage of Penrith's weakened defensive line with Segeyaro being put in to score.
Penrith also closed the first half scoring with an effort of the back of a Cowboys mistake putting Purtell in to score. Seijka was given kicking duties with Walsh off the field and collected 2 points in his debut match. Seijka almost put Lewis into score in the final minute of the half, but the effort only earned Lewis an injury when his diving attempt found him diving head first into the advertising signs. Penrith went into half time only up 12-6.
The second half could not have started worse for the visitors with a mistake on their first play giving North Queensland an easy path to the try line, which was taken by Ashton Sims on the second play. Bowen converted to level the scoring before Luke Walsh was allowed back on the field. Penrith had opportunities to reclaim the lead but failed to take them with errors and good defence keeping them out.
North Queensland capitalised on Penrith errors and claimed their first lead of the match when Segeyaro scored his second try of the night in the 54th minute. This was backed up with good defence keeping Penrith out of the contest before the Cowboys crossed again in the 60th minute with a try to Brent Tate. Cowboys were on a roll and and scored again shortly after kick off thanks to a penalty helping them up field. Graham claimed the four pointer on that occasion.
Panthers hit back with their final points of the match in the 72nd minute with a second try for winger Adrian Purtell. Walsh added the extras to take Penrith's total to a respectable 18 points. There was still time in the game and Panthers tried to keep themselves in it, but the North Queensland defence would not allow it.
The Cowboys capped off the victory with one last try in the 79th minute to Five-eighth Ray Thompson to help the home side to their 30 point to 18 victory.
North Queensland Cowboys 30 defeated Penrith Panthers 18
National Rugby League - Round 21 - Saturday July 30, 2011 7:30pm
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Chris James
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and David Munro
Halftime: North Queensland Cowboys 6 Penrith Panthers 12
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Dallas Johnson
2 Points - Matt Bowen (3 Conversions)
1 Point - James Segeyaro (2 Tries)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (30)
Tries: Brent Tate, Ashton Sims, Ashley Graham, Ray Thompson, James Segeyaro (2)
Conversions: Matt Bowen (3/4), Cory Paterson (0/2)
PENRITH PANTHERS (18)
Tries: Brad Tighe, Adrian Purtell (2)
Conversions: Luke Walsh (2/2), Harry Seijka (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Dairy Farmer's Stadium for League Unlimited's coverage of this Round Twenty One clash between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Penrith Panthers. The Toyota Cup curtain raiser was taken out by the Cowboys who defeated the Panthers 44-12.
TEAM NEWS: Only one change to report and a superficial one at that, Ashton Sims will start from the bench for the Cowboys with James Tamou in the starting front row. Panthers are as per program.
1 min: Game on and North Queensland will have first use of the football.
3 min: Good opening sets from both sides who are making plenty of metres in attack.
4 min: PENALTY to the Panthers who get a great opportunity to attack on the back of their kick for touch.
8 min: Both teams hitting up hard, but Penrith looking more potent in attack with Bowen's kicking game not hitting the mark.
10 min: Purtell passes the ball over the sideline to turnover the ball and halt a good attacking opportunity.
13 min: Cowboys earn six again ten metres out from the Penrith line and are right on the attack.
15 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Cowboys TRY.
15 min: Confirmation that Cooper knocked the ball on over the line and Penrith have a 20 metre tap.
16 min: After a streak down the sideline, Luke Lewis knocks on to give North Queensland a scrum feed 30 out from their own line.
18 min: The game's getting a bit sloppy now, but still ripe for the taking.
22 min: PENALTY to the Cowboys who have begun to really fight for this game.
23 min: Brent Tate is denied a try and Cowboys must handover the ball.
24 min: Panthers are caught with the ball on the last at about halfway to offer the Cows another chance to attack.
25 min: It's worth noting that Penrith's defence has been phenomenal here led by captain Waterhouse.
27 min: Cowboys hands costing the with 2 six again calls to the Panthers putting them right in the North Queensland red zone.
28 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Quick play the ball and Tight burrows over from dummy half to score. Conversion attempt from Luke Walsh successful.
Penrith Panthers 6-0
29 min: Segeyaro has put on a hit for the highlights reel on Sam McKendry.
32 min: PAtterson puts Bowen into a gap and makes a huge break down the field before being stopped 10 out from the line.
32 min: PENALTY to the Cowboys ten out and Walsh is sin binned for a professional foul.
34 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! North Queensland open their account against a 12 man defence after Segeyaro barges over for a try. Bowen makes no mistake with the boot.
36 min: Bowen knocks on an attempt at kick return and Penrith run away with it.
37 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Nathan Smith pounces onto the ball and gets it onto Tighe who finds Purtell who subsequently finds the try line. Harry Seijka on debut it given the goal kicking duties with Walsh in the bin and he strikes it beautifully.
Penrith Panthers 12-6
39 min: Penrith are finding North Queensland at sixes and sevens and making them look quite ordinary.
40 min: Seijka put a kick through and Luke Lewis almost collects a try, but can't keep it inside the dead ball line and Lewis has dived head first into the advertising signs and is in some trouble./
40 min: After a long delay, the half is finally allowed to finish with Penrith leading 12-6.
41 min: Game back on.
41 min: Terrible start for Penrith who knock on bringing the ball out.
43 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! North Queensland capitalise on the mistake and Ashton Sims will not be stopped crossing on the second play. Conversion attempt from Bowen successful.
45 min: Superb start to the second forty from the Cowboys who continue to threaten. Luke Walsh returned to the field after the conversion.
48 min: Young Seijka looking good on debut, creating opportunities for Penrith.
50 min: Penrith bomb a good opportunity knocking on ten out.
53 min: Purtell attempts an intercept and knocks on giving the Cowboys a scrum feed ten out from the Penrith line.
54 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Cowboys TRY.
55 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! Segeyaro from dummy half barges through to score. Bowen nails a simple conversion.
North Queensland Cowboys 18-12
59 min: Great defence from the Cowboys in this second half is helping keep Penrith out of the contest.
62 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! Brent Tate is over. He plucks it from the air and scores. Conversion attempt from Matt Bowen unsuccessful.
North Queensland Cowboys 22-12
63 min: PENALTY to the Cowboys who didn't need the help making metres but will take it.
65 min: TRY Northern Storm
TRY to the Cowboys, Bowen puts a grubbing kick in, Graham collects it an pirouettes over the line. Paterson given the kicking tee misses.
North Queensland Cowboys 26-12
68 min: Cowboys look to have run away with this game with Penrith struggling to play their ways back in.
70 min: After getting through mountains of work this game, Johnson comes off he field and looks to be in a bit of pain.
73 min: TRY
TRY to the Panthers! Walker gets it on to Purtell who dashes though to score. Conversion attempt from Luke Walsh successful.
North Queensland Cowboys 26-18
75 min: PENALTY to the Panthers who don't kick for touch and just run it.
76 min: Seijka kicks on the third and Tonga takes it.
78 min: PENALTY to the Cowboys for Penrith players offside.
80 min: TRY
TRY to the Cowboys! North Queensland finish in style with Ray Thompson gliding into score the final try of the night. Cory Paterson's attempt at conversion bounces off the upright back into the field of play.
North Queensland Cowboys 30-18