Photo: Charles Knight | nrlphotos.com

The NYC Cowboys slumped to their worst loss since the under-20s competition was introduced, steamrolled 64-4 by Parramatta at 1300SMILES Stadium this afternoon.

The 60-point losing margin easily surpassed the previous record of 40 that came at home against Canterbury in 2010 and 64 represented the most points that North Queensland have conceded in an NYC match.

Bizarrely given the way the round eight matched turned out, the Cowboys grabbed the early lead thanks to an error at the back from the Eels that gifted them possession inside their 20m zone.

The home team capitalised through winger Hayden Crowley who finished off a raid to the right to put North Queensland 4-0 up inside five minutes.

Unfortunately that was the only highlight for the Cowboys who killed their chances with basic errors coming out of their own end and substantially below-par defence against a huge Eels lineup that thrived in humid conditions.

After Crowley’s try, Parramatta hit back via hooker Kaysa Pritchard out wide before they then added tries in each of their next three sets of possession – to back-rowers Eric Newbigging and Tepai Moeroa and a second to Pritchard – to kick clear to a 24-4 lead.

A soft try to Newbigging from dummy-half close to the Cowboys line made it five tries in just over 10 minutes for the Eels and they surged past 30 for the half thanks to the strength of five-eighth Ryan Matterson.

Up 36-4 at the break, bench forwards Fred Junior Mauala and Joey Lussick made the situation even worse for North Queensland with tries not long after the restart and they zoomed past the 50 mark with 22 minutes still to go when halfback Zach Dockar-Clay breezed over.

The Cowboys managed to restrict the sizeable damage until Josh Aloiai crashed through two would-be tacklers in the 75th minute and centre Nathan Davis finished off the carnage with his team’s fifth try of the second half and 11th for the afternoon.

North Queensland go into the representative break with a 3-5 win-loss record, while the Eels, who moved to second with their sixth victory, appear to be one of the real threats for the premiership.