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24 Aug 2018 by Ash Wheldon

2018 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs Parramatta Eels Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When?
Friday 24th August, 10:55 (UK)

Where?
1300SMILES Stadium

What channel is it on?
UK – Sky Sports Arena
Australia – Nine, 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=COW2418

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

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

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Michael Morgan, Sam Hoare, Te Maire Martin

  • North Queensland battled hard against Cronulla last week but were downed by their efforts fell short as two late tries for the Sharks sealed the win for them. The Cowboys competed throughout but couldn’t quite get their noses in front as they lost 28-16.

  • Ben Hampton will line up at fullback in place of the injured Te Maire Martin who has an ankle injury. Matt Scott is back in the side and replaces Corey Jensen after he overcame a neck injury.

  • Gavin Cooper’s 71st minute try last week wasn’t enough for the Cowboys to earn any competition points but it saw him become the first player in over 100 years to score a try in seven consecutive games.

EELS

Head Coach: Brad Arthur

Starting 13: Norman, Hayne, M. Jennings, Gutherson, G. Jennings, Salmon, Moses, Evans, Mahoney, Vave, Niukore, Moeroa, Terepo – Interchanges: King, Mannah, Gower, Takairangi – Reserves: Kaufusi, French

Unavailable: Tony Williams, Manu Ma’u, Kaysa Pritchard, Daniel Alvaro, Will Smith, Nathan Brown

  • Parramatta’s recent upturn in form was halted by Melbourne with the Storm outclassing the Eels last week. They were almost left scoreless but Clint Gutherson’s 76th minute try ensured the Eels weren’t nilled as they lost 20-4.

  • Kane Evans has earned a recall in the front row and is joined there by Tim Mannah who returns from a broken hand. However, Nathan Brown’s season is over after he suffered a knee injury.

  • After back-to-back wins, the Eels couldn’t make it three in a row last week but remained just ahead of their opponents in this game on points difference in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

THE PREDICTION

Townsville is bound to be an emotional place on Friday night as future immortal Johnathan Thurston plays his last game on home soil for the Cowboys. It’s a huge game for Thurston and his teammates but for different reasons than how he would have envisaged ending his glittering career. They host the Eels in a battle of the two bottom teams on the ladder with the Cowboys currently propping up the ladder. The outcome of this game could very well determine which side takes the wooden spoon this season but with all eyes on Thurston in his final home game, he can lead his side to victory and guide the Cowboys off the foot of the ladder.

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