Do The Doggies Have Enough Bite?

T-Rex Canterbury Bulldogs
Big T-Rex is back in the second row on Saturday. Picture: Mark Evans/

Canterbury Bulldogs NRL Logo

Bulldogs v Cowboys

ANZ Stadium

Saturday July 26 – 7:35 PM (AEST)




North Queensland Cowboys Logo

Two months ago, everyone was saying the Canterbury Bulldogs had returned to their glory days. They were tough in the middle and fast out wide. But they are becoming more and more inconsistent. The Dogs did lose their halves to Origin, but even before that they seemed to be slipping. Coach Des Hasler has been there before and knows how to get the best out of what he has, but he just needs them to compete for the entire 80 minutes. For the North Queensland Cowboys, this will be a true test of how their season will finish. Last week against the Sharks, they finally got a win away from home, but let’s face it, it was against the Sharks.

The experiment of Tony Williams in the halves is over. He was nowhere to be seen on Sunday against the Tigers, and all the pressure was put on Trent Hodkinson. Josh Reynolds is still a week away due to suspension, so the only thing left to do is put young Moses Mbye at five-eighth. He may not have the makings of a typical pivot, but he has shown he can stand up when he is called upon. The massive boost for the home side is the return of Origin centre Josh Morris. His strength and speed has been sorely missed over the past month. His return to the starting side pushes Krisnan Inu back to NSW Cup. Josh Jackson hops back to the second row, with Greg Eastwood shifting to lock. Sam Kasiano starts in the front row and Tim Browne drops out of the side completely. Pat O’Hanlon and Damien Cook make up a five-man bench.

Basically, if the Cowboys lose this game, they can kiss their season goodbye. They have failed to impress away from home, which is mind-blowing considering the roster they have. Last week they were good at times against the Sharks, who by the way are having their worst season on record, to get the win. That victory means they have only won one game on the road this year. Seriously; one game! They have three more away games to end the season, and all of them are against teams in the Top 4. If they want to make another Finals appearance, that statistic needs to change, and fast. Rookie coach, Paul Green, has named the same 17 which tore apart the Sharks last week.

This is a big game for both teams. The Doggies need to win to cement their spot in the Top 4, and get their season back on track. The Cowboys just need to win. With the Cowboys poor record away from home this year, and the fact the Bulldogs will be out for blood, I don’t think it will be a pleasant night for the visitors.

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Toby's Tip: Bulldogs 13+

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