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08 Aug 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 9th August, 10:50 (UK)

Where? 1300SMILES Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Nine Network, Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=COW2218

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

Starting 13: Martin, Feldt, Tuala, Linnett, O’Neill, Clifford, Thurston, Scott, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hampton, Asiata, Jensen, Bolton – Reserves: Lowe, Gela-Mosby, Coote, Molo

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Michael Morgan, Sam Hoare, Shaun Fensom

  • North Queensland Cowboys almost fought back from an 18-point deficit but their efforts fell just short against Sydney Roosters. The Cowboys placed the Roosters under a mountain of pressure in the second half but couldn’t find the extra six points they needed to level things up as they went down 26-20.

  • Shaun Fensom is out with concussion and is replaced by Corey Jensen on the bench in an otherwise unchanged team.

  • The Cowboys were almost perfect in terms of ball retention last week as they completed at 97%. A late forward pass prevented the Cowboys from completing with no errors with ball-in-hand, much to the dismay of vivacious caller Andrew Voss who had been willing the Cowboys to complete at 100% towards the end of the game.

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Starting 13: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Shibasaki, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Lodge, McCullough, Thaiday, Glenn, Fifita, Ofahengaue – Interchanges: Tagataese, Mago, Sims, Staggs – Reserves: Fai, Dargan, Kahu, Pangai Jnr

Unavailable: Andre Savelio, Matt Gillett, Jack Bird, Payne Haas, Jayden Su’A

  • Brisbane suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Canterbury last week. The Broncos were well below par and found themselves with too much to do after the Bulldogs started the second half strongly, condemning the Broncos to a 36-22 loss.

  • Jordan Kahu is out although could be a late inclusion from the reserves. That paves the way for Gehamat Shibasaki to debut at centre. That has also prompted Wayne Bennett to shift Darius Boyd to fullback and Jamayne Isaako to the wing. Tevita Pangai Jnr has passed a late fitness test and is likely to come into the side.

  • The Broncos are now just four points ahead of Wests Tigers with the race for the play-offs starting to intensify.

THE PREDICTION

Brisbane’s recent impressive run of performances came to an abrupt end last week as they were defeated by Canterbury and a second successive defeat here could put their play-off spot at risk. They are just four points ahead of Wests Tigers as we head into the business end of the season. They travel to North Queensland to face the Cowboys that couldn’t quite overcome Sydney Roosters last week despite a superb effort in the second half. The Broncos will be keen to bounce back from their poor effort last week with Wayne Bennett likely to ensure they do to avoid any top 8 drama.

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