2018 NRL – Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 14th July, 10:35 (UK)

Where? GIO Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys will not be televised live in the UK
Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/Show.aspx?sh=RAI1818

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

RAIDERS

Head Coach: Ricky Stuart

Starting 13: Cotric, Oldfield, Croker, Leilua, Rapana, Williams, Sezer, Lui, Hodgson, Paulo, Tapine, Whitehead, Papalii – Interchanges: Austin, Bateman, Havili, Soliola – Reserves: Knight, Murchie, Hunt, Garvey

Unavailable: Jack Wighton, Brad Abbey, Shannon Boyd

  • With their season on the line, Canberra produced a miracle comeback to defeat Canterbury last week. The Raiders were 14 points down with just six minutes left but scored three tries to seal the 28-32 win and keep their play-off hopes alive.

  • Brad Abbey is out with concussion so Nick Cotric reverts to fullback and Jordan Rapana comes back into the side on the wing after he recovered from a hamstring injury. Shannon Boyd is also out injured whilst Liam Knight is dropped with Josh Papalii and Luke Bateman returning from Origin and injury respectively.

  • The Raiders remain six points outside of the top 8 but have four teams in their sights and if they can find some consistency with a winning run, they could sneak their way into contention.

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

Starting 13: Coote, Feldt, Tuala, Linnett, Winterstein, Martin, Thurston, Asiata, Granville, Bolton, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hampton, Fensom, Wright, Jensen – Reserves: O’Neill, Lowe, Dunn, Molo, Clifford

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Jordan McLean, Michael Morgan, Sam Hoare, Matt Scott

  • North Queensland suffered yet another close defeat with South Sydney once again getting the better of them. The Rabbitohs were one-point winners the last time the teams met in Round 11 and did the same in Round 16 as a late Adam Reynolds drop goal condemned the Cowboys to a 21-20 loss.

  • John Asiata makes a welcome return after a long spell out with a pec injury to boost the Cowboys in the front row. He comes straight into the run-on side in place of Corey Jensen who drops to the bench. That sees Francis Molo drop out of the 17.

  • That defeat was the third defeat in a row for the Cowboys and with just pride at stake for the rest of the season, they will be hoping they can pick up just their third win on the road here.

THE PREDICTION

Canberra’s heroics last week may give them the belief they need to put a winning run together than can force their way into play-off contention. Having been on the wrong end of plenty of close games and late defeats this season, the Raiders finally stole one themselves with a thrilling late win over the Bulldogs. They must now back that up against the Cowboys who suffered late heartbreak again in their last encounter against the Rabbitohs. North Queensland have won just two games on the road this season and coming up against a buoyant Canberra side isn’t likely to help their cause. With so much on the line for the Raiders, they can claim back-to-back wins here and keep their season going.