Date: Saturday, May 23rd
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (AEDT)
Last Ten Meetings:
1. August 9th 2014, North-Queensland Cowboys 64 – 6 Wests Tigers
2. April 12th 2014, Wests Tigers 16 – 4 North-Queensland Cowboys
3. September 7th 2013, North-Queensland Cowboys 50 – 22 Wests Tigers
4. May 24th 2013, Wests Tigers 22 – 20 North-Queensland Cowboys
5. July 23rd 2012, North-Queensland Cowboys 29 – 16 Wests Tigers
6. May 27th 2012, Wests Tigers 26 – 18 North-Queensland Cowboys
7. July 16th 2011, North-Queensland Cowboys 18 – 38 Wests Tigers
8. July 19th 2010, Wests Tigers 26 – 16 North-Queensland Cowboys
9. April 10th 2010, North-Queensland Cowboys 16 – 23 Wests Tigers
10. July 19th 2009, Wests Tigers 34 – 14 North-Queensland Cowboys
Wests Tigers 1 James Tedesco, 2 Kevin Naiqama, 3 David Nofoaluma, 4 Chris Lawrence, 5 Pat Richards, 6 Mitch Moses, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Dene Halatau, 10 Keith Galloway, 11 Curtis Sironen, 12 Kyle Lovett, 13 Martin Taupau Interchange: 14 Ava Seumanufagai, 15 Jack Buchanan
16 Sauaso Sue, 17 Delouise Hoeter, 18 Brendan Santi, 20 Joel Luani
North-Queensland Cowboys 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Ray Thompson, 8 Ben Hannant, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Sam Hoare, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 John Asiata Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn, 15 Glenn Hall, 16 Ben Spina, 17 Kelepi Tanginoa
With just four fixtures in Round 12 of the NRL due to State of Origin’s presence, the North-Queensland Cowboys will be desperate to become the lone side in first place when they travel to Campbelltown on Saturday night. Although, the opportunities presented by the upcoming State of Origin clash will be both positive and negative for the teams performing this weekend. The Cowboys will have to do without Johnathan Thurston, James Tamou, Beau Scott and Michael Morgan while the Tigers suffer the loss of Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah.
Despite the major changes in the squad the Cowboys are undoubtedly favourites to take the two points on Saturday and add to their already seven-game winning streak. A gutsy win last week over the Brisbane Broncos, who were the last side to defeat the Cowboys prior to their winning-streak, was a highlight from the Cowboys’ recent fixtures saw Origin star Morgan bag a hattrick and Thurston back up his efforts with five conversions.
The last six times these two sides have met the home-ground advantage has worked it’s magic, but a bolder statistic leading into this fixture is last time these sides met the Cowboys thrashed by sixty points. Dubbed a “cricket score” and rightfully so, Cowboys winger Matthew Wright scored a hattrick in one of his first games for the North Queensland outfit. A key match-up on Saturday is between Wright and Tigers speedster Kevin Naiqama. After scoring seven tries in eight appearances for the Penrith Panthers, Naiqama signed for the Tigers earlier this year, and despite a slow start to the year from the joint-venture club Naiqama has managed three tries. With both players entering arguably their peak age for performance this season will be vital as they strive for roles in their respective country’s starting lineups.
With the away-from-home-hoodoo that plagued them throughout last season now gone and the winning-streak in full gear, the Cowboys should have no issues picking up a win this weekend.
Cowboys by 12