Cowboys Riding Into Finals Contention

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Picture: Getty Images
James Tamou has lifted his game in recent weeks. Picture: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 3, 2013 – Newcastle Knights 34 d North QLD Cowboys 6 at Hunter Stadium
Round 25, 2012 - North QLD Cowboys 22 d Newcastle Knights 14 at Townsville
Round 10, 2012 - North QLD Cowboys 32 d Newcastle Knights 12 at Hunter Stadium
Round 18, 2011 - North QLD Cowboys 22 d Newcastle Knights 12 at Hunter Stadium
Round 2, 2011 - Newcastle Knights 34 d North QLD Cowboys 22 at Townsville

Current Form

  Rd 19    Rd 20    Rd 21    Rd 22    Rd 23 
Cowboys

-

L

W

W

W

Knights

W

L

D

W

L


The Cowboys  will be looking for their fourth straight win when they tackle the Knights  in Townsville on Saturday night, with a win set to put the club on the brink of an unlikely finals berth. Three consecutive wins have given North Queensland a chance of making the top eight, with the side starting the round just two points out of the top eight. Ashton Sims is unavailable through suspension this week, meaning Scott Bolton or Ethan Lowe will win a recall with the pair included on an extended interchange bench.

Despite suffering a 23-10 defeat to the Storm last weekend coach Wayne Bennett has named an unchanged starting lineup for Newcastle, but Neville Costigan returns from a knee injury on the bench at the expense of Korbin Sims. David Fa'alogo played just 18 minutes last weekend after picking up a facial injury and will need to pass a fitness test before being cleared to play, with Willie Mason an outside chance of returning from injury should he be required.


1st Tryscorer

Kyle Feldt  has wasted no time finding his feet in the top grade since making his debut against the Rabbitohs in round 21, with three tries from as many NRL matches. He bagged a double against the Titans last weekend and will want to lock down his place in the side before the end of the season.

Akuila Uate  has been one of the most potent attacking weapons in the competition over the past few seasons but would be the first to admit this hasn’t been one of his best campaigns. Since scoring seven tries in his first five games of 2013 he has got across the line just five times in his next 13 outings, although he was on the scoresheet against Melbourne last weekend.


Prediction

It is no coincidence that the Cowboys resurgence has coincided with Jonathan Thurston, Matt Scott and James Tamou rediscovering their best form. Although the Knights have won three in a row on the road, North Queensland is absolutely flying at the moment and should have too much firepower for their opponents again this weekend. North Queensland Cowboys by 6

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