NRL Round 21 – Match 2 Results: Penrith Panthers 24 v 16 North Queensland Cowboys

Panthers’ fans were left holding their breaths until the final 10 minutes in Friday night’s clash against the Cowboys, where Penrith pulled out a thrilling late burst to secure a 24 – 16 win over North Queensland at CUA Stadium.

Penrith remain in the second spot on the ladder after Friday’s win put an end to their three match losing streak and boosted their confidence heading towards the end of the season.

Despite a strong start and some promising moments, North Queensland didn’t have what it took to finish off the Panthers and remain at the bottom end of the ladder in 14th spot.

The Cowboys started strongly with winger William Tupou opening their account four minutes in and Johnathan Thurston’s conversion giving them the early six point lead.

Penrith answered back in the 11th minute when star winger Michael Gordon scored his first try and then converted to tie the score six all.

In a see-sawing match, Willie Tonga scored the Cowboys second in the 21st minute after a nice pass from skipper JT and then seven minutes later Brad Tighe fought back for the home side with another four-pointer.

A determined North Queensland remained in front after Thurston’s kick was successful and Gordon’s wasn’t, sitting in front 12 – 10.

Then five minutes before half time Ashley Graham gave the Cowboys a distinct advantage with another four-pointer so the visitors took a 16 – 10 lead to the sheds.

In a gritty second half no more points were scored until the final 10 minutes, both teams looking for a break.

The Panthers’ late burst saw them win by 12 points, paying out for punters that bet on them to win by 12+ at

Finally Kevin Kingston scored for Penrith in the 70th minute, Gordon kicking it through the posts to equal them with the Cowboys 16 all.

Tied with 10 to go it was a thrilling finish, Gordon saving the day with a brilliant 55-metre run from dummy half that resulted in his 75th minute converted try, pushing the Panthers in front.

In the final minute of play Penrith enjoyed an extra two points with a late penalty kick, so they escaped with a 24 – 16 victory.

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