It was a case of the Cowboys – but only just – against the Panthers last season. The Round 11 clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium proved a thriller, but the broken leg suffered by North Queensland forward and NSW Origin hopeful Tariq Sims overshadowed the Far North Queensland team’s 30-28 victory.
The Cowboys dominated most of the major statistical categories, including possession (54-46 per cent), completion rate (88 to 73 per cent) and total running metres (1273 metres to 1130 metres). The most important stat, however, was the error count, with the Cowboys making just seven compared to the Panthers’ 11 – it allowed the home team to secure a dogged victory.
It was five tries apiece for the two teams, with a sole extra penalty goal proving the difference between the sides. The victory came without the Cowboys' Origin quartet Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Brent Tate and James Tamou. The lead was exchanged throughout the match before the Cowboys were able to do just enough to hold on in the final five minutes to secure victory.