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2020 NRL Round Five Preview, Warriors Vs Cowboys

Brad Inger previews the round 5 clash between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys. This is what we have to look forward to.

FORM LINE

New Zealand Warriors

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The Warriors came back to Earth with a thud in their round 4 defeat to the Penrith Panthers. Attack is the primary concern for the New Zealand side, in the first four rounds, the Warriors have only scored 24 points, the lowest of any team in the NRL. Warriors fans will be hopeful that the Warriors can change their gameplan and get the scoreboard ticking over.

North Queensland Cowboys

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The Cowboys had only themselves to blame in their round 4 loss to the Sharks. Their biggest concern was their errors, making 17 errors in total. With the welcomed return of some key players and a bit more respect for the ball, the Cowboys fans should expect a much more polished performance.

SQUAD NEWS

New Zealand Warriors

Lachlan Burr returns straight into the starting lineup, which sees Adam Blair moved to Lock and Isaiah Papali’i moving to the extended bench. Peta Hiku and Agnatius Paasi have been named on the extended bench and maybe a chance to move into the gameday 17.

1. Roger TuivasaSheck 2. Patrick Herbert 3. Hayze Perham 4. Gerard Beale 5. Adam Pompey 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Blake Green 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Wayde Egan 10. Lachlan Burr 11. Eliesa Katoa 12.Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair 14. Karl Lawton 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. King Vuniyayawa 17. Jack Murchie 18. Agnatius Paasi 20. Peta Hiku 21. Isaiah Papali’i 22. Chanel Harris-Tavita

North Queensland Cowboys

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow makes his debut on the wing, while Reece Robson comes in as hooker with Coen Hess returning from injury in the second row. Gavin Cooper moves to the bench with Reuben Cotter joining him. John Asiata is out with a meniscus injury, and Ben Hampton and Jake Granville have been dropped from the squad. Jason Taumalolo has been named on the extended bench and could be called back into the 17.

1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neil 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reece Robson 10. Jordan McLean 11. Mitchell Dunn 12. Coen Hess 13. Josh Mcguire 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Shane Wright 17. Gavin Cooper 18. Corey Jensen 19. Peter Hola 20. Jason Taumalolo 21. Tom Opacic

KEY STAT

The Warriors have a 100% winning record at Central Coast Stadium, winning 3 from 3. The Cowboys, however, have only won 38% of their games at the venue, winning 3 from 8.

BATTLE TO WATCH

My battle to watch is between Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Valentine Holmes.

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The Warriors captain has had a quiet 2020 by his standards but is still head and shoulders above the rest of his team. In dire need of point-scoring opportunities, look to see the skipper inject himself into the Warriors attack early and often.

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Valentine Holmes had a disappointing round 4, but his return from the NFL has gone reasonably well to date. The Cowboys will want to get Holmes into open space, running off the shoulders of his large forward pack.

GAME DETAILS

Both sides need to reduce their error rates if they want to walk away with a victory. The Warriors poor decision making on the last tackle will be the deciding factor in this match. With no changes to the Warriors playmakers, I cannot see where the New Zealand sides points will come from. The Cowboys pack will set the platform for Scott Drinkwater to unleash his backline and the Cowboys should comfortably walk away with the win

 

Date: Friday 12th June
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 6:00 PM (8:00 PM NZ Time)

Prediction: Cowboys by 16

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