North Queensland Cowboys secure remarkable golden-point win against Penrith Panthers

In a remarkable turn of events, Cowboys fullback Scott Drinkwater pulled off a stunning solo effort to secure an unlikely victory against the Panthers. It was in the late stages of the second half of extra time when Drinkwater skillfully maneuvered around three Panthers defenders to score the decisive try. This 27-23 home win propels the Cowboys close to breaking into the top eight after a slow start to the season.

During Nine’s coverage of the game, Phil Gould couldn’t help but express his amazement, saying, “What a fantastic game and an extraordinary finish.” The Cowboys were handed an opportunity when Tyrone Peachey made an error, allowing them to gain field position. Although their attempts at a field goal were thwarted by the Panthers’ defense, Drinkwater’s intuition and quick thinking prevailed.

Speaking to Queensland legend Darren Lockyer on Nine’s coverage, Drinkwater explained his thought process leading up to the try. He said, “Yeah, we went through three sets of hands for a field goal [and] I just got told to hold it… I knew their left winger wasn’t there, so I started to head that way and… decided just to back myself and it paid off.”

Both teams were missing five players each due to Origin duties, and the Panthers were additionally without Nathan Cleary. Despite the absence of key players, the replacement players stepped up and delivered. Drinkwater acknowledged this, stating, “That was awesome. Both teams missing a lot of stars. The people that came in did the job for both sides. Unreal game. Unreal footy. It was pleasing to win that.”

In the first half, the Panthers demonstrated their strength, exposing the Cowboys’ vulnerable goal-line defense. However, the Cowboys managed to mount a comeback with a flurry of tries, resulting in a 22-all scoreline with 18 minutes remaining. Chad Townsend’s one-point field goal in the 78th minute put the Cowboys ahead, but Jack Cogger responded just before full-time, sending the game into golden point.

In the opening minutes, the Panthers wasted no time in making their mark, with Jack Cogger setting up Izack Tago to score. The Cowboys quickly responded with two tries of their own, with Tom Dearden providing the assist for Drinkwater and later scoring himself. The Panthers extended their lead to eight points at half time with tries from Tago, Jaeman Salmon, and Tom Jenkins.

Teen sensation Kulikefu Finefeuiaki managed to score his first NRL try, keeping the Cowboys within reach of victory. Kyle Feldt then sealed the deal with an incredible one-handed try to equalize. Unfortunately, the win was marred by an injury to Heilum Luki, who was hit with a heavy elbow. Although he passed the head injury assessment, he did not return to the game, as the Cowboys’ medical staff suspected a fractured cheekbone.

In conclusion, the Cowboys’ dramatic win, thanks to Scott Drinkwater’s incredible solo try, has given them a much-needed boost in the NRL standings. Despite both teams missing key players, the replacements showcased their talent and contributed to an unforgettable match. The Panthers displayed their dominance in the first half, but the Cowboys fought back and secured victory in extra time.

 

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