Cowboys Out To Shoot Down Premiers

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Picture: Getty Images
James Tamou is half of the best front row partnership in the NRL. Picture: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 19 2012 – North Queensland Cowboys 20 d Melbourne Storm 16 at AAMI Park
Round 6 2012 – Melbourne Storm 42 d North Queensland Cowboys 18 at 1300SMILES Stadium
Round 3 2011 – North Queensland Cowboys 34 d Melbourne Storm 6 at 1300SMILES Stadium
Round 15 2010 – Melbourne Storm 58 d North Queensland Cowboys 12 at AAMI Park
Round 8 2010 – Melbourne Storm 34 d North Queensland Cowboys 6 at 1300SMILES Stadium

Current Form

Cowboys – W
Storm – W

After announcing itself as a legitimate premiership contender with a 24-12 win over the Bulldogs last week, North Queensland  will take the field against reigning premiers Melbourne  confident of knocking off the top two from last season in consecutive weeks. With no new injury concerns, coach Neil Henry will take an unchanged squad into the match, with Clint Greenshields added to a five man bench.

Melbourne Storm started 2013 where they left off last season with its 30-10 win against the Dragons at AAMI Park on Sunday extending the teams unbeaten run in the NRL to nine matches. As you would expect from a team that has enjoyed great success recently, coach Craig Bellamy has kept the same squad from round one, with Bryan Norrie named to start in the front row after being a late withdrawal last week.

1st Tryscorer – Kane Linnett  had a bumper season in Townsville last year and caused the Storm all sorts of problems when the teams met at AAMI Park in July, scoring a double. After a relatively quiet game last weekend, he will be up for a big one on Saturday.

Superstar fullback Billy Slater  started the season with a bang against St George, effecting seven tackle breaks, two line breaks and opening the scoring. If he is in the same sort of form in North Queensland, the Cowboys defence could be in for a long night.

Prediction – Victory for the Cowboys could be enough to see them emerge as premiership favourites by the end of the weekend and there is plenty of reason to think that they can do just that. Although Melbourne has won eight of the past ten between the sides including five of the six most recent meetings in Townsville, North Queensland has won two of the past three and looks well placed against going into this match. With Kangaroo props Matthew Scott and James Tamou leading from the front and the entire club buoyed by the re-signing of Jonathan Thurston during the week, the Cowboys have a strong chance of ending the Storm’s winning run. North Queensland Cowboys 1-12

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