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2022 NRL Round 1 Preview, Cowboys Vs Bulldogs

Matt Attard previews the round one clash between the Cowboys and the Bulldogs …

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

North Queensland Cowboys Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Time: Sunday March 13, 6:15pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Cowboys: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Jordan McLean 16. Mitchell Dunn 17. Tom Gilbert 18. Jake Granville 19. Scott Drinkwater 20. Griffin Neame 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Ben Condon

Halfback Chad Townsend dons the number seven for the first time after making the trip north, and he’ll be hoping to form strong combinations with what shapes to be a deadly back row of Jason Taumalolo, Jeremiah Nanai, and Heilum Luki. Valentine Holmes moves to the centres. 

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Bulldogs: 1. Matt Duffy 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Braidon Burns 4. Brent Naden 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Jake Averillo 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jack Hetherington 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Corey Waddell 16. Max King 17. Chris Patolo 19. Brandon Wakeham 20. Aaron Schoupp 21. Joe Stimson 22. Josh Cook 23. Ava Seumanufagai 24. Kyle Flanagan 25. Reece Hoffman

No less than eight new players will run out for the Bulldogs, led by five-eighth Matt Burton. Matt Dufty takes the fullback position as he looks to form a combination with Burton and halfback Jake Averillo, while Tevita Pangai Jnr will be looking to add controlled aggression to the forward pack. 

Referee: Chris Butler

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Both of these sides are coming off terrible seasons and are tipped by most to again finish outside the eight. Both have been active in the player market, but more-so the Bulldogs.

Matt Dufty is their new fullback, while the most pressure will be on Matt Burton in the halves. He’ll be tasked with rejuvenating their attack. Paul Vaughan will add stability upfront while Luke Thompson has to control his discipline after copping several charges last season. 

Combinations may take more than a few weeks to gel but both teams will be expecting a big improvement on 2021. 

Valentine Holmes moves to centre after a lacklustre season at fullback last year. Halfback Chad Townsend sure has a plethora of weapons to hit on his left and right, with two of the game’s most promising young guns packing down in the second row.

Jason Taumalolo is expected to have an increase in minutes and a lock on the number 13 jersey. 

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INTERESTING FACT

The Bulldogs haven’t been able to notch a win against the Cowboys in Queensland since 2018: a 17-point win when Kieren Foran was in the halves. 

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Cowboys by 10

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