2024 NRL: Round 13 Preview, Roosters Vs Cowboys

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 13 clash between the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland.



Sydney Roosters Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Date: Sunday June 2, 4:00pm


Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Fetalaiga Pauga 4. Joseph Manu 5. Dominic Young 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Terrell May 11. Nat Butcher 12. Victor Radley 13. Naufahu Whyte 14. Sandon Smith 15. Siua Wong 16. Sitili Tupouniua 17. Michael Jennings 18. Zach Dockar-Clay 19. Blake Steep 20. Ethan King 21. Jake Elliott 22. De la Salle Va’a:

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Tomas Chester 4. Viliami Vailea 5. Braidon Burns 6. Jake Clifford 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Jake Granville 10. Griffin Neame 11. Heilum Luki 12. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 13. Thomas Mikaele 14. Sam McIntyre 15. Harrison Edwards 16. Jamal Shibasaki 17. Jason Taumalolo 18. Kaiden Lahrs 19. Thomas Duffy 20. Marly Bitungane 21. Jai Hansen 22. Jaxon Purdue

Referee: Gerard Sutton

Embed from Getty Images


Having played the bottom three teams in their past three matches, the North Queensland Cowboys face a serious test of their credentials when they travel to the new Allianz Stadium for the first time to take on the Sydney Roosters in a State of Origin-affected match.

While the Cowboys’ victories over South Sydney and Wests Tigers have been far from impressive, they have been enough to return them to within two points of the top eight, although the threat of a Roosters side led by James Tedesco, who will no doubt be fired up after his controversial Origin snubbing, will mean that they have an almighty challenge on their hands if they are to make it three on the trot.

Ten players selected for Origin duty between the two clubs means there are changes galore to the two sides from last weekend. For the Roosters, Junior Pauga replaces Joseph Sua’ali’I in the centres, Nat Butcher returns in place of Angus Crichton, Terrell May moves from the bench to prop in place of Lindsay Collins, while Siua Wong, Sitili Tupouniua, and Michael Jennings all join the bench, with Egan Butcher also unavailable after tearing his ACL against Canberra. With a light bench, coach Trent Robinson may opt to debut one of the youngsters among the reserves, particularly SG Ball captain and Roosters Academy product Blake Steep, into the side ahead of Jennings on game day.

With six regulars selected for Origin duty, Cowboys coach Todd Payten has also been forced into mass changes. Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi, Tom Dearden, Reece Robson, Jeremiah Nanai, and Reuben Cotter are all out, with Tom Chester and Braidon Burns joining the backline, Jake Clifford named at five-eighth, Jake Granville returning at hooker, Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and Tom Mikaele moving from the bench to the starting forward pack, and Harrison Edwards and Jamal Shibasaki joining the bench, with the latter making his first grade debut. Payten may also be tempted into an additional debutant, with highly touted youngster Jaxon Purdue on the extended bench.

It’s no secret that the Roosters’ attack has been the driving force behind their recent form, scoring 212 points in their past five matches. Interestingly for a Trent Robinson-coached side, the 16 they conceded against Canberra last weekend was their fewest since thrashing South Sydney 48-6 in round 3.

For any concerns the Roosters may have around their defence, Todd Payten will no doubt have that and then some, with the Cowboys having conceded the third-most points so far in 2024 (315), only conceding fewer than 20 on one occasion (18 against the Dolphins in round 1).

A wet forecast for Sydney on Sunday may prevent some of the attacking powers of the two teams coming to the fore, however four of the top seven players for try assists in 2024 are playing in this game: Chad Townsend (15 – second), Scott Drinkwater (14 – third), Luke Keary (10 – fifth), and James Tedesco (9 – seventh). Sam Walker also sits just outside the top 10 with eight assists. Additionally, Dom Young leads the line break count with 15, while Drinkwater leads line break assists with 17, four ahead of second-placed Tedesco. Tedesco is also third for tackle breaks (71).

History favours the Roosters in this match-up, winning 31 out of 44 meetings. Their most recent match-up in 2023 went the way of the Cowboys, however, breaking a five-match Roosters run. It was even worse for the Cowboys at the old Allianz Stadium, winning just four out of 16 matches there, most recently the 2017 preliminary final, which also happens to be their only win over the Roosters in Sydney since 2010.

With a fired-up Tedesco leading the way and a potent backline, the Roosters should make light work of the Cowboys. A wet forecast will make conditions more difficult and may be the Cowboys’ only hope of an upset.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Number Crunch Stats.


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Roosters by 12 points.

Follow Nothing But Rugby League on Facebook

Subscribe to our weekly tips

We’ll send you our weekly predictions once they’re posted to NothingButLeague!

No spam, you can cancel at any time.

Subscribe to our weekly tips

We'll send you our weekly predictions once they're posted to NothingButLeague!

No spam, you can cancel at any time.

Other Articles

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »