Cormac Pearson previews tonight’s big clash between the in-form Cowboys and the battling Sea Eagles in Townsville.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Cowboys are coming off what coach Paul Green said was their “toughest win he’s been a part of” against the Gold Coast, and have won last three games. The Cowboys are injury depleted, but will welcome the return of Origin stars Michael Morgan and Josh McGuire.
Manly have been gutsy all season, defying the odds and shutting up the critics and will be looking to play big after a tough loss against Penrith last week.
A tough week for the Cowboys with injuries meant that Jordan Kahu and Gideon Gela-Mosby miss out. Enari Tuala comes back on the wing as Rueben Cotter makes his debut for the Cowboys, in for Kurt Baptiste. Morgan and McGuire are expected to return.
Cowboys squad: 1. Michael Morgan 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Mitchell Dunn 4. Tom Opacic 5. Enari Tuala 6. John Asiata 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh McGuire 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Shane Wright 16. Scott Bolton 17. Francis Molo 19. Javid Bowen 20. Corey Jensen
A huge in for Manly as Tommy Turbo rejoins the starting list, moving Brendan Elliot to the bench. Jake Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans are a chance of returning.
Sea Eagles squad: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Dylan Walker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cade Cust 7. Kane Elgey 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jack Gosiewski 14. Manase Fainu 15. Brendan Elliot 16. Morgan Boyle 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Jake Trbojevic 19. Daly Cherry-Evans
HEAD TO HEAD
The Cowboys have won six of their last seven matches against Manly and will be hoping to cement 1300SMILES as a fortress again. Manly will be looking to win another gritty game against a vulnerable Cowboys side.
This game will be won in the middle, both sides are coming into the game a bit underdone and the big face off will be between Jason Taumalolo and Marty Taupau. Taumalolo has been in absolutely terrifying form and has already moved right up on the Dally M leaderboard, even though he missed five rounds. A normal game for Taumalolo is an incredible game for others as he averages over 200 metres a game in 2019. Taupau has been doing a truckload of work for Manly, leading the pack with aggression and through his actions. The two big bodies will be sure to try and one up the other to get their side on the front foot in a crucial game for both sides.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 8th of June, 2019
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST
Referee: Adam Gee and Gavin Badger
WHO WILL WIN?
This is a very tricky one to pick, I think the game will be decided on whether Jake and Daly play, which I don’t think they will. The Cowboys at home is too hard to pass up.
Cowboys by six.