Cowboys blitz Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys blitz Panthers

By Liam Butterworth 30/07/2011 11:15:37 PM Comments (0)

Penrith star Luke Lewis is expected to be fit to play the Melbourne Storm next week after he was knocked out and missed the entire second half of the Panthers 30-18 loss to North Queensland in Townsville.

Lewis was knocked unconscious and suffered a nasty cut to his temple after slamming his head on the ground when he dived for the ball in the Cowboys' in-goal on the half-time buzzer.

The NSW State of Origin player lay motionless flat on his face for a couple of seconds after the fall before regaining consciousness and eventually being assisted from the ground.

Penrith led 12-6 at halftime but fell apart in the second term without their inspirational backrower with the Cowboys going on a scoring blitz to help the hosts regain their top-four position on the NRL ladder.

Panthers coach Steve Georgallis said his side had been burnt in the second half after failing to contain their errors and said the loss of Lewis was huge.

"I thought we imploded in the second half and started making errors and instead of reacting positively to those errors we were negative and kept on making error after error and lost our field position and when you do that you're going to get burnt, and that's what happened to us," he said.

"I just think Luke Lewis getting injured affected our structure, he'd been training there (in lock) all week," Georgallis said.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry agreed Lewis' injury was the turning point in the match.

"Certainly Lewis going off was a bonus to us because he's so dangerous," Henry said.

The Panthers coach confirmed that Lewis suffered concussion but was expecting him to be available for next week's clash against Melbourne.

Neither side had clear attacking opportunities in the opening 25 minutes but the Panthers opened the game up in the 27th minute when Brad Tighe sneaked under three Cowboys players from dummy half to grab the first try.

The Cowboys hit back five minutes later through James Segeyaro, who scored from dummy half, after a stunning 30 metre run from Matt Bowen.

Cory Paterson broke the line before putting Bowen through towards the tryline but the fullback was brought down 10 metres out by Panthers halfback Luke Walsh who then subsequently gave away a penalty after appearing to take exception to comments by Glenn Hall.

Walsh was placed in the sin bin and James Segeyaro made the most from the resulting penalty, crossing from dummy half.

On 36 minutes Bowen dropped Panthers debutant Harry Seijka's chip and Nathan Smith collected before playing out wide where winger Adrian Purtell crossed to regain the Panthers lead.

The Cowboys were the first to strike after half time, taking advantage of a Panthers mistake after the kick-off and Ashton Sims stretched out to even the score.

The North Queensland side took the lead nine minutes later after another dummy half effort by Segeyaro.

The Cowboys needed to win by eight points to put themselves back above the Broncos on the ladder and Brent Tate helped them to a 10 point advantage in the 60th minute, outjumping Ryan Walker to get his hands on a Bowen bomb.

Walker was again beaten moments later when Ash Graham collected a Bowen chip and swivelled past him to score the Cowboys fourth second half try.

Ray Thompson ensured the Cowboys home-final dreams were kept alive with a try in the 78th minute.

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