Date: Saturday August 22, 2015
Venue: Mount Smart Stadium
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (NZT), 5:30pm (AEST)
Warriors: 1 Sam Tomkins 2 Ken Maumalo 3 Dominique Peyroux 4 Solomone Kata 5 Jonathan Wright 6 Chad Townsend 7 Tuimoala Lolohea 8 Jacob Lillyman 9 Nathan Friend 10 Albert Vete 11 Sione Lousi 12 Ryan Hoffman 13 Simon Mannering (c). Interchange: 14 Konrad Hurrell 15 Bodene Thompson 16 Sam Lisone 17 Charlie Gubb 18 Matthew Allwood
Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote 2 Matthew Wright 3 Justin O’Neill 4 Kane Linnett 5 Antonio Winterstein 6 Michael Morgan 7 Johnathan Thurston (c) 8 Matthew Scott (c) 9 Jake Granville 10 James Tamou 11 John Asiata 12 Ethan Lowe 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn 15 Coen Hess 16 Scott Bolton 17 Ben Hannant
Not that long ago this game may have been considered a marquee attraction with both teams gracing the top 4 with their red hot form. Fast forward weeks later and the Cowboys have been sliding and the Warriors have had an avalanche in their form following a few key injuries.
The home side will remain without Manu Vatuvei, Ben Matulino and Shaun Johnson but welcome back Bodene Thompson to the bench however his inclusion shouldn’t make a huge impact without his pairing with Johnson that proved to be very dangerous in the past. They also add Sam Rapira to the list of Absentees.
The Cowboys will miss Gavin Cooper on the left edge but have including Coen Hess on their bench. Hess is a potential future star of the game who has been tearing up the u20’s competition. He was one of the standouts in the u20’s State of Origin game earlier this year. He will be looking to impress as he looks to steal a first grade spot for next year.
The Cowboys have looked unimpressive the last two weeks against two of the better defensive teams in the competition so the team will be relishing the opportunity to regain confidence against a battered Warriors outfit. Scott and Tamou haven’t looked themselves but should run rings around the New Zealand Pack. Despite having reasonably weak edge players they should not be challenged too much by the Warriors especially since Solomone Kata is in a form slump. Sam Tomkins will need to have a big game defensively if the Warriors are to stand a chance. I expect a lot of line breaks from the Cowboys down the middle of the field so he will need to pick up the scraps.
The Broncos have had their form slump but proved it was short lived last week in their trashing of the Dragons. The Cowboys will need to do the same this week with only three weeks before the finals. I believe they will dominate in all areas of the game and will put on 30 odd points. I predict the final margin will be 18 points to the Cowboys.
Prediction (Mention who you think will win and by how many, eg. Titans by 10)