Panthers claim gutsy win over Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers claim gutsy win over Cowboys

By Ben Galvin 25/07/2009 10:07:27 PM Comments (0)

Penrith leapfrogged North Queensland into fifth position on the NRL ladder with a gutsy 28-20 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night.

NSW State of Origin centre Michael Jennings bagged a hat-trick as the Panthers notched their ninth win in 12 matches in Townsville.

In a see-sawing match, the Panthers came home the stronger, twice pegging back the lead to record a stirring victory.

The Cowboys' second straight loss leaves them on the brink of the top eight and facing a tough run home with games against Gold Coast (away) and the Bulldogs and Brisbane at home.

Carl Webb was gifted a try in the 57th minute when he cleaned up a scrappy Panthers attempt to diffuse a Johnathan Thurston kick, scoring next to the posts before watching his captain pot the extras for a 16-10 lead.

But two tries in five minutes, through Jennings and the impressive Jarrod Sammut, saw Penrith take the lead for the first time.

The match looked headed for golden point when John Williams crossed out wide in the 74th minute but Thurston fluffed his attempted conversion well short of the posts.

Jennings iced the cake for the Panthers right on fulltime, cleverly pouncing on a Cowboys error and racing 40 metres to score.

The home side enjoyed the early running, going ahead 10-0 after 26 minutes through tries to Thurston and Willie Tonga.

Jennings started the first revival by crossing off a Luke Walsh grubber in the 33rd minute while the video referee Sean Hampstead awarded a contentious try to Michael Gordon in the final minute of the half to see ensure a 10-10 deadlock at the break.

Panthers coach Matt Elliott couldn't hide his satisfaction after his side came back twice to claim a vital win.

"I am immensely proud of the character that they showed," Elliott said.

"I am just not sure, I was hoping one of you guys (media) could tell me how we won.

"... It was just the fact we have got a group of people that even when they get things wrong, they are just prepared to keep showing up.

"It gives you the opportunity to win."

Cowboys coach Neil Henry described loss as the one that got away.

"It is one way of putting it ... it was in the balance there and we turned over a bit of possession in the second half I suppose," Henry said.

"Our completions were pretty low for a period of time which gave Penrith a bit of field position."

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