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NRL Match Preview

2015 NRL Match Preview: North Queensland Cowboys vs Sydney Roosters

Date: Saturday 9th March 2015

Venue: 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville

Kick-Off: 8pm (local)

Last Ten Meetings: 

  1. September 19th 2014, Sydney Roosters 31 – 30 NQ Cowboys
  2. May 17th 2014, NQ Cowboys 42 – 10 Sydney Roosters
  3. May 18th 2013, NQ Cowboys 8 – 12 Sydney Roosters
  4. April 14th 2012, NQ Cowboys 50 – 12 Sydney Roosters
  5. May 28th 2011, NQ Cowboys 20 – 6 Sydney Roosters
  6. September 4th 2010, NQ Cowboys 8 – 18 Sydney Roosters
  7. May 10th 2010, Sydney Roosters 14 – 32 NQ Cowboys
  8. September 6th 2009, Sydney Roosters 16 – 32 NQ Cowboys
  9. June 20th 2009, NQ Cowboys 24 -22 Sydney Roosters
  10. August 2nd 2008, NQ Cowboys 20 – 32 Sydney Roosters

North Queensland Cowboys:

1 Michael Morgan, 2 Justin O’Neill, 3 Matthew Wright, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Johnathan Thurston (captain), 7 Robert Lui, 8 Matthew Scott (co-captain), 9 Rory Kostjasyn, 10 Ben Hannant, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo Interchange: 14 Jake Granville, 15 Glenn Hall, 16 Scott Bolton, 17 James Tamou, 18 Kelepi Tanginoa, 19 Ray Thompson

Sydney Roosters:

1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Blake Ferguson, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 James Maloney, 7 Mitchell Pearce (c), 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Matt McIlwrick, 10 Sam Moa, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Isaac Liu Interchange: 14 Mitchell Aubusson, 15 Dylan Napa, 16 Kane Evans, 17 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 18 Martin Kennedy, 19 Nene Macdonald

Preview

This Saturday the Sydney Roosters will travel to Townsville to take on a revenge-motivated North Queensland Cowboys.

The Roosters began last year’s NRL season as Champions and with a large weight on their shoulders. They persisted throughout the season and eventually won the Minor Premiership title over “Turf war” rivals, South Sydney Rabbitohs. However vice versa struck in the Preliminary Final where the Roosters lost 22-32 against their Redfern opponents.

The Cowboys on the other hand, won the first Auckland Nines tournament in the lead-up to the 2014 NRL season, prompting speculation the side from Queensland’s north may be on a path to taking their first NRL Premiership. Meaning it was a controversial way to end the season when during the semi-finals, the Cowboys made a comeback from 30-0 down to 30-30 all against the Roosters, only to fallout in the dying stages to a James Maloney field goal.

The Cowboys’ two most high-profile signings from the off-season will make their appearance in the squad come this Saturday. Ben Hannant and Justin O’Neill being the names. The latter, a winger joining from the Melbourne Storm who has been quoted “an up-and-coming talent”, after appearing with the Storm in their premiership-winning season of 2012. Ben Hannant will join their forward pack to accommodate the loss of brothers Tariq and Ashton Sims, siding with captain Johnathan Thurston for the first time since the 2012 Origin Series.

For the Roosters their significant debutant will be Blake Ferguson. Following his sexual assault charge that saw him banned for the game for the second time, this could well be his last chance to return to regular gametime and the NSW Origin squad. A controversial signing, but one that’s proved he has talent in the past, it will be interesting to see how Blake performs against the Cowboys and Matthew Wright, who played alongside Blake in 2012.

An unusual face on the interchange for the Cowboys will be NSW Origin star James Tamou. Battling a neck injury since losing his Origin jumper in 2013 to a drink driving charge, James has recently been rumoured as planning a move away from the Cowboys, and over to the Roosters. Although after publicly denying the rumours, it’d be great to see him make an appearance on Saturday and put the propaganda to bed.

Losing only one fixture at home last season, a line-up boasting replacements for the side’s losses in the off-season and with arguably the state’s best forward as co-captain, it looks the Cowboys will steal a win and some revenge here.

Prediction 

Cowboys by 2.

#SydneyFC and #RedV fanatic! Second Row in RL, LB in Soccer + Writer for @NothingButRL @FTSAUS @TheRoarSports @IFAFEN. Live Well, Love Much and Laugh Often.



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