MATCH PREVIEW | North Queensland Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans

North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans who struggling for consistency will face off in a Queensland Derby with both teams looking for their third win of the season.



The Cowboys are coming off a loss to the Bulldogs where they never really looked a chance of winning after the Bulldogs ran over the top of them in the second half.


The Titans were starting to look a lot better after two wins in a row, but they slipped back to their old ways letting in 30 unanswered points against the Tigers last round.



Unfortunate news out of the Cowboys with Te Maire Martin out indefinitely due to bleeding on the brain. Fingers crossed for that it’s nothing too serious and he can make a speedy recovery. Jason Taumalolo is once again on the extended bench, however he’s no guarantee of being rushed back into the side. Keep an eye on final team lists to see if he’s a late inclusion.

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North Queensland have been disappointing so far this season with many predicting them to be contenders for a top four finish. The injury to Taumalolo was a huge blow and admittedly they’ve had a tough draw to start the season, but since winning their opening game against the Dragons they’ve only managed to win one more game against the Warriors in Round Six.

Cowboys squad: 1. Jordan Kahu, 2. Justin O’Neill, 3. Tom Opacic, 4. Enari Tuala, 5. Ben Hampton, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. Matthew Scott, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Josh McGuire, 13. John Asiata Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste, 15. Coen hess, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Francis Molo Reserves: 18. Corey Jensen, 19. Mitchell Dunn, 20. Jason Taumalolo, 21. Gideon Gela-Mosby.


Dale Copley is out, forcing a reshuffle with Phillip Sami moving from the bench to the wing. Big inclusion for the Titans is AJ Brimson back from injury. He will play a utility role off the bench.

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The Titans looked good in wins against the Panthers and Knights, but they fell apart and gave up a 14 lead to lose 30-14 against the Tigers. They’ll be looking to bounce back and Brimson will be a big part of that. The Gold Coast also welcome back Jarrod Wallace after his suspension and he will no doubt be looking to be raring to go to push for an Origin spot.

Titans squad:1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Tyrone Robert, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow Interchange: 14. AJ Brimson, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Max King Reserves: 18. Jai Whitbread, 19. Jack Stockwell, 20. Will Matthews, 21, Jesse Arthurs.


The Titans haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 2014, with the Cowboys winning the last eight of the last ten clashes between the sides.


Ash Taylor was touted as the next big thing but has filed to live up to the hype thus far. He has patches of brilliance but hasn’t shown the consistency Titans fans expect from a big money marquee signing. However he looks like a much better player with his good mate Tyrone Roberts partnering him in the halves. The bit of pressure taken off Taylor allows him to pick his moments more carefully rather than being expected to do everything. He has been dealing with some injuries early in the season but the time is now for him to stand up and live up to his potential if the Titans are any chance of making the top eight this season.

Like Taylor, Michael Morgan also has a lot of pressure on him as the main playmaker now that Jonathan Thurston has retired. He’s been pretty good so far although the injury to Taumalolo has left a big hole in the Cowboys forwards and therefore left Morgan with less time to do his thing. Add to this the Ben Barba sacking just before the start of the season and a few different spine combinations and it’s easy to see why Morgan might seem a bit quieter than expected. We saw how he could run the team in 2017 when JT was out injured and Morgan led the Cowboys to the Grand Final so expect him to bounce back soon when the Cowboys are back to near full strength.


Date: Friday May 3rd
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Kick-off: 6pm
Referee: Adam Gee, Gavin Badger


Hard to choose with lots of different things going on like the rumours of disharmony in the Cowboys dressing room, pressure on both teams to get away from the bottom of the table and injury woes and both lineups still not as settled as they’d like. Hard for me to tip against the Titans, but I think the Cowboys will get it all together and be too strong at home. I do think it will be close though as the Cowboys have a rather inexperienced team compared to the Titans. Cowboys by 4.


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