Thurston is the man to save the Cowboys season. Image courtesy of: Photo: Brett Costello
Cowboys v Rabbitohs
Saturday June 28 – 7:35 PM (AEST)
If the North Queensland Cowboys hope to play finals football this year, they need to start winning now. They have so much talent across the park it’s a wonder why they are sitting so low on the ladder. They need to take a leaf out of the South Sydney Rabbitohs book. The Bunnies came to the realisation a month ago they needed to turn their season around and instead of talking about it, they have done it, winning four straight and positioned in the top 4.
What has gone wrong in Townsville? The Cowboys have such a talented roster and yet they can’t seem to find a way to win away from home. Playing half of their games on the road this year, they failed to produce even one win away from 1300Smiles Stadium. Johnathan Thurston would still be stinging after the losing the State of Origin last week, but he needs to put that behind him and focus on club footy. If the Cowboys are any chance of playing in the finals this year, they need him to be focused on the job at hand. Ray Thompson (hamstring) has been ruled out, with Robert Lui starting at five-eighth and JT moving to halfback. Scott Bolton moves into the front row, with Jason Taumalolo starting in the second row and Tariq Sims slotting into lock. Glenn Hall drops back to the pine along with Anthony Mitchell.
The Bunnies are back. It seems all they needed was a bit of time to find their groove. One of the premiership powerhouses over the last few seasons, they were a bit slow out of the blocks at the start of the 2014 season. But after some big wins over the last month, the Bunnies are on track on making the finals for a third consecutive year. The return of Greg Inglis from Origin duty is a huge boost for the Rabbitohs, who seem to find another lever when GI dons the red and green jersey. Chris McQueen and Ben Te’o also return from Origin duty, pushing Ben Lowe back to the bench and Joe Picker back to NSW Cup. Nathan Merritt shifts to the wing to accommodate the return of GI, also dropping Lote Tuqiri out of the side.
The only saving grave for the Cowboys is that they are playing at home. While that may be a slight advantage, the Bunnies have looked too strong as of late to lose this one.
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