2024 NRL: Round 4 Preview, Broncos Vs Cowboys

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 4 clash between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Brisbane Broncos Vs North Queensland Cowboys
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Friday 29 March, 8:00pm AEDT

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Broncos: 1. Tristan Sailor 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Fletcher Baker 11. Jaiyden Hunt 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Xavier Willison 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Corey Oates 18. Benjamin Te Kura 19. Jock Madden 20. Delouise Hoeter 21. Martin Taupau 22. Jordan Pereira

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Zac Laybutt 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Jack Gosiewski 18. Tomas Chester 19. Thomas Mikaele 20. Semi Valemei 21. Marly Bitungane 22. Jake Clifford

Referee: Grant Atkins

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Another enthralling installment of Queensland’s oldest rivalry is on hand this Friday night when the Broncos play host to the Cowboys. It’s big brother vs little brother once again and there’s always no love lost between the two sides. Since 2014, the head-to-head record is 12 wins apiece from 24 games. If history is anything to go by, this is a battle not to be missed.

For the Broncos, returning home to Suncorp Stadium will be a blessing, but they’ll be without their superstar fullback Reece Walsh as he recovers from a facial fracture suffered in last week’s loss to the Panthers. Kevin Walters has opted against moving Selwyn Cobbo to fullback and has instead named Tristan Sailor as Walsh’s replacement. Another big addition for the home side is the return of captain Adam Reynolds, who’s back from a knee injury to take his place at halfback. Brendan Piakura is out with an ankle injury, with young gun Jaiyden Hunt named to start in the back row. Corey Oates makes his first appearance of the year off the bench.

With superstars like Reece Walsh and Payne Haas on the sidelines, Adam Reynolds returns at just the right time for a young Broncos side coming off two losses in their first three games. Reynolds’ kicking and game management was sorely missed last week, but with a relatively inexperienced forward pack in front of him, Reynolds will have limited space to work his magic and bring their exciting backline into the game. If they’re to get a win here, the forward pack will need to stand up, led by Pat Carrigan and Jordan Riki.

For the Cowboys, Todd Payten has named the same 17 that thumped the Dragons 46-24 last week, with Zac Laybutt named to take his place in the centres after being a gameday scratching for that game.

It was another slow start last week for the Cowboys, as they trailed 18-4 after just 20 minutes. The emphasis will be on starting fast and shoring up their defence against the Broncos. Historically these contests are high-scoring affairs, and when they’re on a roll the Cowboys know how to score points quickly. A lot of that comes off the back of their potent attacking outside backs, but it’s the playmaking of the spine that really allows the Cowboys to pick teams apart. Usually the accolades go to Tom Dearden and Scott Drinkwater, but Reece Robson has flown under the radar as an attacking threat around the ruck this year that makes the Cowboys even harder to cover. Watch out for the impact he makes in the middle against a weakened Broncos forward pack.

Head-to-head stats can be found at Round 4 Number Crunch.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Cowboys by 10 points.

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