North Queensland have put themselves again within the NRL finals hunt after an 89th-minute Scott Drinkwater attempt pinched them an important 27-23 win towards Penrith.
In a contender for recreation of the season regardless of eight gamers throughout each groups lacking to State of Origin, North Queensland got here again from 22-12 down within the second half to seal the win in a pulsating eight-and-a-half minutes of extra-time.
The Cowboys regarded to have the sport received on Friday when halfback Chad Townsend drained a 79th-minute discipline purpose, just for stand-in Penrith backup No.7 Jack Cogger to return the favour with one second left in regulation time.
North Queensland then had the very best probability in golden level to win by way of a 50 metre penalty purpose try from winger Kyle Feldt, earlier than it went nicely vast.
However when a 90-minute draw loomed, Drinkwater dashed previous numerous Panthers to attain himself on a play initially designed for an additional discipline purpose try.
The win moved North Queensland to inside one level of the highest eight, after their season regarded in actual hazard of fading away earlier than a 45-20 win over Melbourne final day trip.
It capped a exceptional turnaround for a North Queensland facet that regarded disinterested at instances within the first half, as lazy defence gifted Penrith a 20-12 halftime benefit.
Cowboys coach Todd Payten admitted he’d feared the worst at that time, after 20 first-half missed tackles allowed Izack Tago to attain an early double for Penrith earlier than Jaeman Salmon and Tom Jenkins additionally crossed.
“There have been some vacant eyes at halftime which at all times makes me involved,” Payten mentioned.
“However I used to be happy with the best way we began (the second half), we went seven from seven in completions and a few of our extra skilled guys actually stood up.”
Payten mentioned the victory was debatable higher than his facet’s large win over the highly-ranked Storm.
“That will likely be proper subsequent door to it,” Payten mentioned.
“Most likely even a bit higher provided that we have been eight factors down at halftime and the best way the final 10 minutes unfolded.
“If that end goes towards us we would have to essentially regroup, bodily it was difficult, they will be exhausted over the following three, 4 days.
“We obtained punched within the face a few instances. Down eight factors at halftime challenged the lads to face up collectively as a group, and so they did that.”
After a penalty purpose put Penrith 22-12 up after the break, back-to-back tries for second-rower Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and Kyle Feldt levelled the scores for North Queensland.
5-eighth Tom Dearden additionally made essentially the most of his launch from Queensland’s State of Origin camp with a shocking show, scoring one try to aiding one other two.
Dearden had a hand in each his group’s first-half tries, discovering Drinkwater after his sensible line break and scoring quickly after from a equally intelligent Feldt kick.
Lacking Nathan Cleary and Moses Leota together with their Origin stars, Penrith’s loss coincided with essentially the most factors they’ve conceded in a single recreation this season.
Regardless of that, some spectacular cameos from their fill-in skills meant they practically escaped with victory.
“We have been ready to win that recreation, however we opened the door for them in varied methods,” coach Ivan Cleary mentioned.
“At 22-12 we simply provided up alternatives after which simply weren’t resilient sufficient tonight … defensively that is probably not what we’re about so I used to be upset with that.”
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