North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers Tips and Odds – NRL 2023 Round 16

Queensland Country Bank Stadium will play host to Friday's Round 16 NRL game between North Queensland Cowboys and Penrith Panthers. The game kicks off at 8:00 pm with Penrith Panthers heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the North Queensland Cowboys vs. Penrith Panthers game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Friday June 16, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Where: Queensland Country Bank Stadium

Bet: Bet On This Match HERE

North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers Odds

North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers Preview

A tale of two Origin-depleted teams as a North Queensland side missing five players hosts a Penrith outfit stripped of five NSW stars on top of Nathan Cleary’s absence.

The Cowboys had the bye last week after carving out a stunning 45-20 home win over Melbourne in Round 14 – just a fortnight after conceding 66 points to Wests Tigers. Fullback Scott Drinkwater was in sizzling form, while winger Semi Valemei scored a hat-trick on club debut.

The Cowboys are wearing an even heavier Origin burden than before the series opener, with Reece Robson and Jeremiah Nanai joining Reuben Cotter, Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi in game two.

But marquee forward Jason Taumalolo’s long-awaited return softens the representative drain. Elsewhere, Zac Laybutt comes into the backline and Kyle Feldt returns, Jake Granville lines up at hooker, and Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and Sam McIntyre join the bench.

The ladder-leading Panthers are on a five-match winning streak, coming out of the bye to beat St George Illawarra 26-18 four days after Origin I then thrashing Sydney Roosters 30-6 in a superb performance last Saturday.

Jaeman Salmon joins Jack Cogger in the halves, Tom Jenkins makes his second NRL appearance on Brian To’o’s wing, Tyrone Peachey comes back in at centre, Zac Hosking and Moses Leota return after missing last week, and Luke Garner will make his first appearance since Round 4.

The Cowboys beat a second-string Panthers side 38-8 in Townsville in the final round last year, after losing the last four between the sides by an average margin of 19.5 points.

The Panthers are averaging an incredible 11.5 points conceded in 2023, though their list of unavailable players this weekend is likely to affect their rhythm on both sides of the ball.

The Cowboys – 5-2 in Townsville this season – performed admirably without their rep stars before the series opener against a modestly-impacted Eels side and are capable of using Taumalolo’s return as a spur to grab a valuable upset over the under-strength premiers.

Content provided by Ladbrokes

Head To Head Bet

Penrith Panthers
Bet Now

We're tipping Penrith Panthers to win at $1.48 odds.

First Try Scorer

Tom Jenkins
Bet Now

First Try Scorer: Tom Jenkins at $9.75.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Penrith Panthers Teams

Cowboys team: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Peta Hiku 5. Semi Valemei 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Jake Granville 10. Coen Hess 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Heilum Luki 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Sam McIntyre 15. Griffin Neame 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 18. Brendan Elliot 19. Riley Price 20. Mitchell Dunn 21. Thomas Duffy 22. Jake Bourke

Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Tyrone Peachey 5. Thomas Jenkins 6. Jaeman Salmon 7. Jack Cogger 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Zac Hosking 13. Matt Eisenhuth 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Luke Garner 18. Jack Cole 19. Liam Henry 20. Mavrik Geyer 21. Eddie Blacker 22. Jesse Maclean