Big Guns Out Of Queensland Derby

Source: Adam Head/foxsports.com.au
Albert Kelly has been one of the finds of the season. Source: Adam Head/foxsports.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 13, 2012 – Gold Coast Titans 28 d North Queensland Cowboys 12 at Skilled Park
Round 1, 2012 - Gold Coast Titans 18 d North Queensland Cowboys 0 at Townsville
Round 20, 2011 – North Queensland Cowboys 28 d Gold Coast Titans 20 at Skilled Park
Round 5, 2011 - North Queensland Cowboys 22 d Gold Coast Titans 12 at Townsville
Round 23, 2010 - Gold Coast Titans 37 d North Queensland Cowboys 18 at Skilled Park

Current Form

  Rd 7    Rd 8    Rd 9    Rd 10    Rd 11 
Titans

L

L

W

L

W

Cowboys

W

W

L

L

L


More than half a dozen front line players will be missing when the Titans  host the Cowboys  at Skilled Park on Sunday, through a combination of representative commitments and injury. The Gold Coast will field a completely different backrow to that which took to the field in a 42-2 hammering of Parramatta in Mudgee last week, with Greg Bird, Nate Myles and Ashley Harrison all on State of Origin duty. They have been replaced by the fit-again duo of Dave Taylor and Luke O’Dwyer, while Mark Minichiello is back in the run on side with Jamie Dowling takes his place on the bench.

Co-captains Jonathan Thurston and Matt Scott are two of six first choice Cowboys unavailable for the Queensland derby, on State of Origin duty for the Maroons with Brent Tate, while front rower James Tamou is in camp with the Blues. Custodian Matt Bowen has been ruled out for four to six weeks after suffering a knee injury and has been joined in the casualty ward by second-rower Gavin Cooper. Clint Greenshields, Kalifa Faifai Loa and Michael Morgan all come into the starting side, while Jason Taumalolo, Ricky Thorby, Joel Riethmuller, Blake Leary and rookie Ethan Lowe are all on an extended interchange bench.

1st Tryscorer

Titans winger Anthony Don  only made his first grade debut in round six against the Eels but has shown that he is comfortable at this level by bagging three tries from just four outings and was the first tryscorer on two of those occasions.

Antonio Winterstein  has scored more four pointers for the Cowboys than any other player this season and has been in red hot form over the past month, bagging four tries in as many matches. Closer to the action at centre this week, he will be determined to add to that tally.

Prediction

Although both teams are missing key players for this match, there is no doubt that North Queensland will struggle more than their opponents. They have the worst record of any team in the NRL over the past decade during the State of Origin period, winning just 37% of their matches when missing their best players. The Titans scored big wins in both meetings between these clubs last season and a similar result looks the most likely outcome again. Gold Coast Titans by 16

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