The NYC Cowboys have a proud head-to-head record to protect when they meet the Panthers at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday evening.
Wind the clock back a few weeks and it may have been difficult to see the Cowboys knocking over the Panthers, but there’s a definite chance here for Todd Wilson’s team to break through for a win.
The Panthers have had their difficulties against our under-20s after winning the first meeting four years ago – North Queensland has won the last five and scored at least 30 points on each occasion.
Although this is a much different Cowboys team, it’s one with some confidence building after a late comeback produced a home draw against St George Illawarra and a fine second half resulted in a draw against Newcastle at Hunter Stadium last Saturday night.
The Cowboys had control of the Knights game for around 60 minutes but then fell away to allow Newcastle to escape with a share of the points.
If they can keep up their defensive effort and effectiveness for even longer against Penrith, the opportunity will be there to down one of the Toyota Cup’s in-form teams.
Another key factor will be our kicking game, which wasn't quite good enough against Newcastle and created some of the opportunities for the home team to score points.
The Panthers’ chief attacking weapon is halfback Harry Siejka who made his NRL debut at Dairy Farmers last year but hasn’t been able to get a look in for first grade so far this year under new coach Ivan Cleary.
The Cowboys will need to keep the clamps on the No.7 or he has the potential to almost win the game on his own.
Toyota Cup Cowboys: 1. Wayne Ulugia 2. Samsen O’Neill 3. Kyle Feldt 4. Javid Bowen 5. Zac Santo 6. Luke Abdul-Rahman 7. Sam Foster 8. Nick Dorante 9. Alex Elisala 10. John Puna 11. Chris Grevsmuhl 12. Tennyson Elliott 13. Patrick Kaufusi. Interchange: 14. Nathan Norford 15. Tom Hancock 16. Damon Tauroa-Rauhihi 17. Francis Veukiso. Coach: Todd Wilson.
Penrith Panthers: 1. Kieran Moss 2. Nicholas Mataia 3. Tom Eisenhuth 4. George Jennings 5. Zac Mackay 6. Toby Evans 7. Harry Siejka 8. Sam Hollis 9. Blake South 10. Chris Smith 11. Vaipuna Tia Kilifi (c) 12. Jack Lee Hang 13. Ian Riccardi. Interchange: 14. Chris Knight 15. Zion Ahu 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Jake Galvin. Coach:
Played: 6 – Cowboys 5, Panthers 1
Head-to-head at Dairy Farmers Stadium: Cowboys 3, Panthers 1
Last game: Cowboys 44 d Panthers 12 at Dairy Farmers Stadium (round 21, 2011)
Biggest head-to-head wins: Cowboys 46 d Panthers 10 (Centrebet Stadium, round 16 2011); Panthers 32 d Cowboys 24 (Dairy Farmers Stadium – Rd 12, 2008)
Date: 5.15pm, Saturday 19 May 2012
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports 2
Referee: Nick Morel
Touch judges: Chris Anderson, Chris Nitso
Main game: 7.30pm