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NRL match preview: North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders

Date: 8th March 2014
Kick-off: 9pm (Sydney time)

Teams

Cowboys: Michael Morgan, Kyle Feldt, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston (c), Robert Lui, Matt Scott (c), Ray Thompson, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Jason Taumalolo, Joel Riethmuller. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Tariq Sims, Glenn Hall, Scott Bolton, Ashton Sims, Zac Santo

Raiders: Anthony Milford, Reece Robinson, Jarrod Croker, Matt Allwood, Edrick Lee, Jack Wighton, Terry Campese (c), Dane Tilse, Glen Buttriss, Brett White, Josh Papalii, Joel Edwards, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Josh McCrone, Jarrad Kennedy, Paul Vaughan, Shannon Boyd, Mark Nicholls

Preview

Paul Green will be looking for a win from his first game in charge of the Cowboys when they take on Canberra on home soil this Saturday.

Green has inherited a talented line-up led by captain Johnathan Thurston, experienced Brent Tate and Kyle Feldt.  Feldt is set to have a big season in the NRL having played only three games last season resulting in three tries. He was also a key part of the Cowboy’s success at the recent Nines tournament in Auckland.

If the Cowboys have a weak link it could be at fullback with Michael Morgan set to be tested in defence and under the high ball.  A long term injury to Lachlan Coote presents Morgan with an opportunity to become a regular starter.

Club legend Ricky Stuart returns home to Canberra in a coaching role vacated by David Furner who ironically is assistant coach to Green at the Cowboys.

This is a tough road trip for the Raiders with the lack of fire-power at the back outside Anthony Milford and Jarrod Croker. Interesting to note Jack Wighton will play at five-eighth alongside Terry Campese with Josh McCrone starting from the bench as a replacement hooker.

All the signs lead to a Cowboys win with the Raiders set to struggle with the hot, humid conditions of Townsville against a very strong home side.

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