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2020 NRL Round 11 Preview, Cowboys Vs Sea Eagles

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Lachy MacCorquodale previews the round 11 clash between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. This is what we have to look forward to.

FORM LINE

North Queensland Cowboys

The North Queensland Cowboys are coming off a 12-point loss to the Penrith Panthers on Sunday, but it was one of their better performances since the resumption of the competition. They never let the Panthers get out of their grasp until Nathan Cleary scored a late try to take the deficit out to double figures. They have, however, only won one out of their past seven matches, with a 12-point victory against Newcastle in round seven their only result to promote. This will be their first game without coach Paul Green, who left the club on Monday; it’ll be interesting to see how the Cowboys respond. It can’t get much worse.

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will be pumped for this clash after their four-point victory over competition leaders the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night. Despite this great result for Manly, they had lost their three prior matches and have struggled since the injuries to Dylan Walker and Tom Trbojevic (against the Canberra Raiders in round six). In good news for the Sea Eagles, star forward Addin Fonua-Blake will return from suspension this weekend, which will bolster their forward pack and definitely improve their chances of winning this clash.

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SQUAD NEWS

North Queensland Cowboys

1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fodow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Connelly Lemuelu 4. Esan Marsters 5. Justin O’Neill 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh McGuire 9. Reece Robson 10. Francis Molo 11. Shane Wright 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Mitchell Dunn 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Gavin Cooper 17. Reuben Cotter 18. Murray Taulagi 19. Ben Hampton 20. Jordan McLean 21. Emry Pere.

The Cowboys name an unchanged line up from last week’s match against the Panthers.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles

1. Brendan Elliott 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cade Cust 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Corey Waddell 19. Tevita Funa 20. Abbas Miski 21. Haumole Olakau’atu

Addin Fonua-Blake returns from his suspension and as a result pushes Taniela Paseka onto the bench and Corey Waddell out of the 17.

KEY STAT

The Cowboys have won six of the eight previous meetings with the Sea Eagles, but the Sea Eagles have won two of the last three clashes. Their most recent clash came in round 13 last year when the Sea Eagles came from eight points behind at halftime to trump the Cowboys by two points. Since the Cowboys came into the competition in 1995, the two clubs have met on 30 occasions: with the Cowboys winning 13 and the Sea Eagles winning 17.

BATTLE TO WATCH

Jason Taumalolo v Jake Trbojevic

This week we will be treated to a battle between rugby league’s two best lock forwards. One, a Tongan international and former Dally M Medalist; the other, the incumbent Australian and New South Wales lock forward. Jason Taumalolo leads all forwards in the league in run metres, averaging a whopping 226 metres per game, 27 more than the next best forward. He also leads the league in post-contact metres, averaging 95 and managing to break four tackles per game, proving that he is one of the hardest players to tackle in the NRL.

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Jake Trbojevic doesn’t put up the same run metres as his opposite number (averaging 129 metres per game) but is one of the best defenders in the competition, averaging 43 tackles per game. He is an integral part to the way the Sea Eagles play their footy and leads all forwards in line engagements with five per game, showing that he loves to hold up the defence and give his star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans plenty of time to do what he does best. This match-up is going to be exciting to watch as both players are going to have their work cut out for them.

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GAME DETAILS

Manly by 12.

Date: Friday, 24th July
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Kick-off: 6:00pm

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