Penrith can clinch the minor premiership with a victory, but the Cowboys troubled the competition leaders earlier in the season and having nothing to lose.
North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers free NRL tips, predictions and preview – Cowboys have won two of their last three meetings and have scored 20+ points in their last three matches in Queensland this season…
Cowboys vs Panthers Tips
Cowboys vs Panthers Match Details
🇦🇺 Competition: NRL
🗓 Date: Friday September 18
⏰ Time: 6.00pm AEST
🏟 Stadium: Queensland County Bank Stadium
Cowboys vs Panthers 2020 Form (last five matches)
- R14: Cowboys 30-31 Rabbitohs
- R15: Knights 12-0 Cowboys
- R16: Sharks 28-12 Cowboys
- R17: Cowboys 23-22 Dragons
- R18: Storm 36-20 Cowboys
- R14: Warriors 12-18 Panthers
- R15: Panthers 38-12 Sharks
- R16: Panthers 30-6 Tigers
- R17: Broncos 12-25 Panthers
- R18: Panthers 20-2 Eels
Cowboys vs Panthers Head to Head (last five matches)
Cowboys have won two of their last three encounters.
- 19/7/20: Panthers 22-10 Cowboys
- 23/8/19: Cowboys 24-10 Panthers
- 4/5/18: Panthers 20-26 Cowboys
- 29/3/18: Cowboys 14-33 Panthers
- 12/8/17: Panthers 24-16 Cowboys
Cowboys vs Panthers Preview and Prediction
On a club record 13-match winning streak, the Panthers need just one more victory to wrap up the minor premiership – but I think there’s some upset potential in this showdown.
North Queensland have struggled all season, but they’ve had a lot of injuries and have competed well over the last month, especially in their own state.
The Cowboys have only played two home matches in their last five, pushing the in-form Rabbitohs all the way in a 30-31 loss, while they beat the Dragons 23-22 a fortnight ago.
Last week’s performance against the rampant Storm on the Sunshine Coast was also impressive as they put 20 points past the usual brick-wall Melbourne defence.
With Valentine Holmes, Kyle Feldt, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Scott Drinkwater, there’s plenty of attacking spark in the Cowboys line-up to trouble the Panthers.
Of course Penrith deserve their lofty favouritism after putting together a phenomenal season in which they’ve dropped just three points and lost one match.
The Panthers’ only defeat of the campaign came against the Eels and they emphatically avenged that loss last week with a comfortable 20-2 triumph.
However, I get the feeling they’re due a loss before the finals and they haven’t exactly been blowing bottom-eight teams out of the water in recent weeks – remember how they didn’t put away the lowly Broncos at Suncorp until the final 10 minutes just a couple of weeks ago?
There’s superb value in the Cowboys on Friday night and there’s plenty of reason to suggest they can make a real fist of this game up in Townsville.
Cowboys vs Panthers Teams
Murray Tualagi replaces Juston O’Neill at centre for the Cowboys, while Francis Molo moves to lock for the suspended Josh McGuire. John Asiata is also suspended as Ben Condon makes his debut on the bench.
Mitch Kenny comes into the Panthers side at hooker in place of the injured Api Koroisau, while James Tamou has been rested, with Moses Leota starting at prop.
Cowboys team: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Murray Taulagi 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Corey Jensen 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Francis Molo 14. Daejarn Asi 15. Emry Pere 16. Tom Gilbert 17. Ben Condon 18. Jason Taumalolo 19. Jake Granville 20. Peter Hola 21. Ben Hampton
Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Kurt Capewell 17. Jack Hetherington 18. Dean Whare 19. Billy Burns 20. Matt Burton 21. Charlie Staines
Cowboys vs Penrith Stats
- Cowboys have won two of their last three meetings
- Cowboys lead their Round 10 clash this year 10-4 in the second half before going down 22-10
- Kyle Feldt has scored four tries in his last three games
- Valentine Holmes has scored a try in his last two games
- Josh Mansour has scored a try in his last four games
Cowboys vs Penrith Best Bet