Origin One is in the books but one clash from Wednesday is fated to repeat itself as Justin O’Neill will face off against Jarryd Hayne. Will JT Return (Doubt it), Will Zillman play (May be) Who will win (God Knows) in the true clash of Queensland?
LAST TIME OUT
These two sides clashed earlier this year in round 4. The Titans were generous hosts and let the Cowboys (who were just starting their injury run) in for five tries and the Visitors allowed the scoreline to look closer by letting in two late tries. Both Gela-Mosby and Ponga crossed that night for the Cowboys and the players that they replaced are now back. The final score was 32-26 to the Cowboys, but they were the better side for much of the clash.
A lot of water under the bridge since this game, with the Cowboys struggling with the losses of major players and the Titans (in patches) beginning to show some of last season’s form. With Hayne coming off an exceptional Origin, could his signing of a deal that pays him way more than most centres, demand the push to make him into more of a playmaker for the Titans.
After both teams had the bye, they are both coming in off a loss. The Cowboys were unfortunate against the Sharks and the Titans were ordinary in a loss to Manly. With only a few players backing up from each team, this game will be interesting to see where both teams really sit in the scheme of things.
For the Cowboys, the crowd will be looking out for the 19 jersey. After missing JT for a number of games, the locals are getting restless and will be hoping to see his return. He stated earlier in the week that he was aiming for next weekend, but whilst he is named, there is hope. His inclusion would change the balance to one of significantly favouring the Cowboys should he make it back.
Enough fantasy, this game will rest on the centre’s. Both Konrad Hurrell and Hayne represent a significant threat to be faced up to by O’Neill and Kane Linnett. The Titans stars feature two differing running styles with Hayne being elusive against the hard charging Hurrell. While the pack may favour the Cowboys, the inside of the backline does lean in favour of the visitors. The Cowboys will be relying on their strong defensive coordination to shut down these two threats.
Cowboys at home are normally easy selections, but with the outs, it makes it harder to choose them. The rumour of William Zillman being called up for the Titans, with an as yet un-named withdrawal trends to let the game return towards the Cowboys. With JT, Cowboys by 12, without Cowboys by 8.
Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O’Neill, 4. Kane Linnett,
5. Antonio Winterstein, 6. Ray Thompson, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. John Asiata,
9. Jake Granville, 10. Scott Bolton, 11. Gavin Cooper (c), 12. Ethan Lowe,
13. Jason Taumalolo, Interchange from: 14. Ben Hampton, 15. Coen Hess,
16. Shaun Fensom, 17. Ben Spina, 18. Kalyn Ponga, 19. Johnathan Thurston,
20. Corey Jensen, 21. Sam Hoare, 22. Javid Bowen.
Titans: 1. Tyrone Roberts, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Jarryd Hayne, 4. Konrad Hurrell,
5. Dale Copley, 6. Kane Elgey, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Nathan Peats,
10. Ryan James (c), 11. Chris McQueen, 12. Joe Greenwood, 13. Leivaha Pulu,
Interchange From: 14. Karl Lawton, 15. Morgan Boyle, 16. Paterika Vaivai,
17. Nathaniel Peteru, 18. Pat Politoni, 19. William Zillman, 20. Max King,
21. Eddy Pettybourne.