Cowboys like Penrith 2003: Lang - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys like Penrith 2003: Lang

By Daniel Pace and Brent Read 20/09/2004 08:18:08 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach John Lang has compared NRL surprise packet North Queensland to last year's all-conquering Panthers outfit.

"They're a bit like us last year," said Lang about the Cowboys, who will meet minor premiers the Sydney Roosters in Sunday's preliminary final at Telstra Stadium.

"People kept saying `oh well, Penrith have sort of been lucky' well we were lucky for 21 weeks out of 23. That's a lot of luck."

Despite winning the 2003 minor premiership, the Panthers were still widely expected to be blown off the park by the Roosters in the decider.

But Penrith had other ideas and defied the critics with a commanding performance to break a 12-year premiership drought.

The Cowboys, after beating the Bulldogs and Brisbane to move within one game of the October 3 grand final, have become the feel-good story of the 2004 finals series.

Lang says he can't believe people are still underestimating the Cowboys.

"A lot of people have forgotten that the Cowboys finished one point behind Melbourne on the table," said Lang, whose team was the last to beat North Queensland.

"Everyone's got the feeling the Cowboys finished 10 points behind and they somehow jagged their way in.

"They finished on 29 points and Melbourne finished on 30."

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