Despite being without playmaker Johnathan Thurston the Cowboys defeated the Panthers 30-18 at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 21 last year.
The home team needed to overhaul a 12-6 halftime deficit to grab the competition points, their victory assured when they crossed for the opening four tries of the second half.
Ashton Sims got the ball rolling when he scored his first ever try in Cowboys colours just 30 seconds after the resumption. North Queensland then assumed the lead for the first time when James Segeyaro threw a dummy and dived over from dummy-half in the 54th minute, before Brent Tate’s try off a Matt Bowen bomb on the half hour, and Ashley Graham’s try four minutes later, extended the scoreline to 26-12.
Panthers winger Adrian Purtell finished off an 80-metre attacking raid from a turnover to add some respectability to the scoreline before Cowboys five-eighth Ray Thompson collected his own grubber to score the final points of the night with a minute remaining.
It was a scrappy game, with both sides making 12 errors. The Panthers missed 38 tackles on the evening, with the Cowboys making five line-breaks to the Panthers’ three. Penrith really threw the ball around, making 19 offloads all up.
North Queensland were best served by winger Graham who made 17 runs for 149 metres, while Michael Jennings ran for 203 metres for the Panthers, with seven tackle busts.