At the foot of the mountains the Panthers continued their outstanding defensive display to execute a 24-0 defeat of visiting North Queensland at Panthers Stadium tonight, with a crowd of 14,077 on hand.
Penrith went back to what they know from last year - not always spectacular in attack but doing absolutely everything right without the ball, preventing their line from being breached. While they arguably should've had more points in that first forty, they'd have gone to halftime 8-0 (following a quality bump and roll effort from back-rower Kurt Capewell for their sole try) pretty happy with the fact the Cowboys failed to score.
It took another fifteen minutes post-halftime for the home team to breach the Cowboys' line a second time, Dylan Edwards with a sound effort to extend the Penrith lead to the dreaded 14-0, but they pushed it further just five minutes later when Brian To'o went over out wide.
Suddenly up 18-0, there was a sniff of a rout in the air as the Cowboys looked less and less likely to score. Liam Martin tried to make that reality by setting up Isaah Yeo after 63 minutes and Yeo's try and the subsequent Cleary conversion allowed the home side to push into the 20's, with a 24-0 lead.
Somehow Todd Payten's men managed to stop the haemorrhaging - Penrith didn't score anymore points after the Yeo try and the visitors even troubled the Penrith line several times in the fifteen or so minutes that were left, but the 2020 Grand Finalists didn't really look too challenged for that final quarter of the match.
Penrith's success will look to expand next Saturday when they head along the M4 to Bankwest Stadium, where they'll visit Canterbury. The Cowboys are at home to the Dragons on Saturday night.