Cowboys Take Aim At Roosters

Image courtesy of abc.net.au, Photo: Getty Images/Mark Nolan
Jonathan Thurston was quiet against Souths last week. Photo: Getty Images/Mark Nolan
Last 5 Meetings

Round 7, 2012 – North Queensland Cowboys 50 d Sydney Roosters 12 at TIO Stadium
Round 12, 2011 – North Queensland Cowboys 20 d Sydney Roosters 6 at Townsville
Round 26, 2010 – Sydney Roosters 18 d North Queensland Cowboys 8 at Townsville
Round 9, 2010 – North Queensland Cowboys 32 d Sydney Roosters 14 at Allianz Stadium
Round 26, 2009 – North Queensland Cowboys 32 d Sydney Roosters 16 at Allianz Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 5    Rd 6    Rd 7    Rd 8    Rd 9 
Cowboys

W

L

W

W

L

Roosters

L

W

W

W

 W


The Cowboys  will take an unchanged starting lineup into their clash with the second-placed Roosters  in Townsville on Saturday night, despite suffering an 18 point defeat to the Rabbitohs last Friday night, although Jason Taumalolo has been added to the squad. Neil Henry’s troops could hardly have been set a more difficult task in the past fortnight, having had to tackle the league leaders in round nine and then the team running second just eight days later.

With Jared Waerea-Hargreaves copping a five-match ban for the high shot that saw him sent off against Manly on Monday night, Trent Robinson’s two first choice props are unavailable for the Roosters, with Sam Moa still sidelined by knee and ankle injuries. Waerea-Hargreaves is the only man missing from the side that secured the clubs seventh win in eight matches with a 16-4 victory over the Sea Eagles as the club continues to rely on the core playing group that has served them so well this campaign.

1st Tryscorer

Matt Bowen  is yet to find his best form in 2013 but there were some indications that he could be nearing his peak following a solid performance against Souths last week. He ran for more metres than in any other game this season and will look to run off Jonathan Thurston’s shoulder to exploit the Roosters defence around the ruck.

Roosters winger Daniel Tupou  has been compared to Israel Folau in some quarters but is yet make the same tryscoring impact that the former Storm and Broncos back made in the NRL. James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce are sure to test diminutive fullback Matt Bowen under the high ball in Townsville and given he has one of the highest aerial leaps in the competition, Tupou could be the beneficiary.

Prediction

The Cowboys are yet to take a big scalp this season but get a good chance to showcase their premiership credentials this weekend. Playing at home in front of a parochial crowd will be a big boost to them but what sways things even further in their favour is the fact that the Roosters are without their ‘bookends’. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been one of the most improved players in the competition this season and his absence in particular is sure to be felt against Australian representatives Matthew Scott and James Tamou. North Queensland Cowboys by 8

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