Joshua Knox previews the all Queensland affair between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday evening. Here’s what we have to look forward to.
North Queensland Cowboys Vs Brisbane Broncos
Venue: Queensland Country Bank
Date: Saturday July 2, 5:30pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 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. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Luciano Leilua 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Ben Condon 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Kane Bradley 21. Iosefo Baleiwairiki 22. Kyle Feldt
All of the Maroon’s representative players have been named to back up while Luciano Leilua will make his club debut in his 100th career match after a mid season swap from the Wests Tigers.Embed from Getty Images
Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Jake Turpin 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Jordan Pereira 19. TC Robati 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Delouise Hoeter 22. Rhys Kennedy
Adam Reynolds returns at halfback in a huge boost for Brisbane while all of the Origin and International players have been named to backup. Payne Haas has been named to play despite picking up an ankle injury in the Blues win.
Referee: Adam Gee
There is no queries when it comes to the hatred between these two clubs in the battle to be the best side in Queensland is set to come down to the wire with both clubs sitting in the top half of the league. With the Cowboys sitting in third and the Broncos only two points behind in fifth, this shapes as a genuine four-pointer.
North Queensland come into this one looking to cement their position in the top four and stamp their premiership credentials. The healthy return of State of Origin stars Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi, Jeremiah Nanai and the club debut of new signing Luciano Leilua hold the Cowboys in good stead heading into the back end of the season. The Cowboys got the better of the Sea Eagles in their last outing running away 28-26 winners courtesy of three tries in three minutes as the clock was winding down.
The Broncos were no match for the Cowboys in their first match this season going down 38-12 at Suncorp Stadium in round three. The Broncos are a much more well rounded side now however and will be looking to end the Cowboys three match unbeaten streak. Brisbane were gallant in defeat in round 15 going down to the Melbourne Storm 32-20 which ended the Broncos seven match winning streak.Embed from Getty Images
The Cowboys have found it tough going against the Broncos in previous times trailing the head to head record 19-36. However, they have grabbed three wins in their past four matches against their big brother and more importantly a win in the 2015 Grand Final. Jeremiah Nanai crashed over for a hat-trick in round three and will be hungry for some more meat on Saturday afternoon.
Cowboys by 4.
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