Joshua Knox previews the all Queensland affair between the Cowboys and Titans on Saturday afternoon. Here’s what we have to look forward to.
North Queensland Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Date: Saturday April 23, 5:30pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Griffin Neame 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Riley Price 21. Jordan Lipp 22. Emry Pere 23. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 24. Tomas ChesterEmbed from Getty Images
Titans: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Greg Marzhew 6. AJ Brimson 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Will Smith 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Paul Turner 19. Kevin Proctor 20. Sam McIntyre 21. Tanah Boyd 22. Sosefo Fifita 23. Corey Thompson 24. Jayden Campbell
Referee: Chris Butler
The Cowboys enter this clash in seventh position off the back of a come from behind 18-12 victory over the Canberra Raiders in the ACT. Facing a 12-0 deficit at half time, the Cowboys looked a completely different side in the second half as they scored 18 consecutive points to return to the winner’s circle. Valentine Holmes was a standout in the win grabbing a try to go along with six tackle busts, two line-breaks and two offloads in a dominant display. Scott Drinkwater is the player to watch from the Cowboys with him starring at fullback since the injury to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. Drinkwater has filled in seamlessly and been a huge contributing factor to the teams attack over the past few weeks.
The Gold Coast have struggled to gain consistency over the opening six rounds and suffered a 26-18 loss at the hands of the Manly Sea Eagles. It leaves the Titans languishing in tenth on the ladder with two wins and four losses and a difficult draw upcoming. After finding themselves down 24-4 at half time, it was a hill too tall to climb in the second half ultimately falling short and have not been able to put a 80 minute performance in for their previous two matches. The key for the Titans is not so much an individual but is putting the polish on a full team 80 minute performance and that’s what Justin Holbrook will be conveying to his team this week. With a team mixed with experience and youth, it was always going to be an unknown of how long it would take for them to gel, will it be this week?
This shapes as a big clash for both sides who aspire of featuring come finals time. With the added intrigue of being a derby, there is only one win separating these two on the ladder with a win for the Titans leapfrogging their opponents. On the other hand, a win for the Cowboys will potentially give them some breathing space inside the top eight early in the season.Embed from Getty Images
The Cowboys have had the wood on the Titans in there 27 matches, grabbing the win in 16 of those games. The Cowboys won ten straight against the Titans between 2014 and 2020 before the Titans turned the tables winning the most recent three matchups.
The Titans outscored the Cowboys by 80-20 in their two clashes in 2021. AJ Brimson has strived in the process, grabbing five tries in the three-match winning streak over North Queensland.
Titans by 6.
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