North Queensland Cowboys vs. Penrith Panthers, NRL live scores, blog
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Nth Queensland Vs. Penrith
2012 NRL Premiership Season, 19 May, 2012
|Dairy Farmers Stadium, Kirwan, QLD|
|Nth Queensland 30 defeated Penrith 28|
|Referee: S Lyons|
|Touch judges: D Abood & Clayton Sharpe|
The North Queensland Cowboys take on the Penrith Panthers in a clash with more than a couple of key players missing through Origin. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEST.
These clubs sit at opposite ends of the NRL table, with the Cowboys currently fourth and the Panthers struggling one place from the bottom. But despite their differing fortunes in 2012, there’s more to this battle than meets the eye.
North Queensland traditionally struggle around Origin time when their talisman Johnathan Thurston dons the maroon jumper of Queensland, and this year they’ll also be missing the key front row duo of Matthew Scott and James Tamou, as well as three-quarter Brent Tate.
Make no mistake about it – these are big players to lose, and it makes this one just a little bit tougher to predict.
Still, with much greater depth than previous years, it could be argued that the Cowboys are well placed to deal with the loss of these key players.
Veteran Matt Bowen steps in as captain and will inject himself heavily, while their backline remains intact with the likes of Tariq Sims, Dallas Johnson, Gavin Cooper and Jason Taumololo all on board.
For the Panthers, captain Luke Lewis is missing as well as out-of-favour centre Michael Jennings, but they’ll still fancy their chances to follow last week’s exhilarating golden-point win over the Dragons with another victory here tonight.
It would be the shot in the arm their floundering season desperately needs, and with the imposing front row rotation of Tim Grant, Sam McKendry and Dayne Weston all on deck, they’ll be looking to dominate the Cowboys up the middle in order to lay a platform for their outside men.
Additionally, the Panthers have a surprisingly good record at Dairy Farmers Stadium, winning nine of their 14 contests there since the Cowboys entered the competition in 1995 — another statistic pointing towards a Panthers victory.
Still, the Cowboys will be heavy favourites going into this one and it’s hard to go past them giving the tumultuous season the Panthers have endured thus far both on and off the field.
Look for big games from the likes of Bowen and halfback Ray Thompson, and expect damaging running on the edges in the form of Sims, Cooper and Taumololo.
Can the Panthers capitalise on the weakened North Queensland line-up, or will the Cowboys overcome the losses and prove too classy at home? Join us from 7.30pm AEST for score updates and debate on our live blog, and be sure to give us your opinion in the space below if you’re watching.
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