Penrith has started the 2021 NRL season in great fashion with a 24-0 thumping of North Queensland at Panthers Stadium.
The Panthers took an 8-nil lead into half-time and went on with the job in the second half.
Nathan Cleary and Dylan Edwards were standouts in the impressive win to open the season.
The victory extends Penrith’s impressive winning streak at Panthers Stadium, which dates back to mid-way through the 2019 season.
More than 14,000 fans packed into Panthers Stadium with nearly all COVID-19 restrictions now eased.
The Panthers were impressive from the start with Kurt Capewell opening the scoring in just the sixth minute, with two Nathan Cleary goals giving the home side an 8-nil lead.
The Panthers put the game to bed in the space of 10 minutes in the second half when Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o and Isaah Yeo bagged tries to open up an unassailable lead.
Panthers coach Ivan Cleary was happy with the win, but admitted his side has plenty to improve on.
“We just couldn’t ice some opportunities that we’re going to need to,” he said.
“In the second half the game got a bit sloppy I think and in the end we’ll go away with two points with a fair bit to work on.”
Cowboys coach Todd Payten was disappointed with the performance, particularly in regards to his side’s ball security.
“I’m not sure we have to do any tackling practice this week because we did plenty of it tonight,” he said.
“We were lucky it wasn’t 50-nil.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Senior Writer. He has more than 15 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations.