Friday Night NRL

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Picture: Getty Images
Cowboys powerhouse James Tamou has been named to take on the Broncos. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au.

Cowboys v Broncos

Cowboys star trio Jonathan Thurston Matt Scott and James Tamou are all named to back up for the Cowboys  against the Broncos in Townsville on Friday night while Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has again opted to rest Justin Hodges and Petero Civoniceva. Cowboys coach Neil Henry has named an extended bench which includes young halfback Michael Morgan who will replace Jonathan Thurston if he pulls up sore after Wednesday night’s origin blockbuster. Corey Parker has been ruled out after suffering a serious leg gash in Wednesday night's Origin blockbuster, Ben Hannant and Matt Gillett are all expected to play for the Broncos.

History – The Broncos love playing their northern cousins and have enjoyed a great record in recent seasons recording eight wins from their past ten games. The Cowboys are usually a tough assignment at home for travelling teams however the Broncos relish the trip north and haven’t lost a game at Dairy Farmers Stadium in six years. The Broncos will be keeping a close eye on Matt Bowen after the slippery fullback pulled a rabbit out of the bag in the opening round of the season to snatch a late Cowboys victory.

Dangermen – Cowboys winger Ashley Graham  is in scintillating form. The Cowboys flyer has scored thirteen tries this season and is always dangerous on the end of a slick Cowboys backline. Broncos centre Jack Reed  is beginning to show signs of brilliance on the Broncos right edge that saw him nominated for NRL rookie of the year last season.

Prediction – Who will be Queensland’s top team in 2012? Both teams would love this tag heading into the finals. The Cowboys are always tough at home and should be too classy for an understrength Broncos team. Cowboys 1-12 .

 

Dragons v Bulldogs

The underperforming St George Dragons  meet the high flying Bulldogs  at WIN Stadium on Friday night. The Dragons have been a shadow of their former selves struggling to find any consistency this season with a number of major positional changes. The Bulldogs are a different story with Des Hasler announcing his team as premiership contenders on the back of three consecutive wins.

History - Surprisingly the Dragons have enjoyed success over the Bulldogs in recent season registering six wins from their past seven games. The Dragons are always a different side when they play in Wollongong and the Bulldogs haven’t won there in five years. The Bulldogs humiliated the Dragons in round two recording an emphatic 30-4 victory thanks to Josh Morris hat trick.

Dangermen – The Dragons have struggled for creativity out wide this season however there has been a glimmer of hope with both Daniel Vidot  and Kyle Stanley  proving they are genuine first grade players. The Bulldogs have named NSW strike weapon Josh Morris  to back up against his old club and he is sure to go searching for the ball early.

Prediction – The Dragons have been quite possibly the worst attacking team in the competition lately failing to score points and provide options for their speedy outside backs. This will all change when they return to their spiritual home in Wollongong and the Dragons should rediscover their attacking flair. Dragons 1-12 .

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