2018 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs New Zealand Warriors Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 15th June, 09:00 (UK)

Where? 1300SMILES Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - 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=COW1518

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

COWBOYS

Head Coach: Paul Green

Starting 13: Morgan, Feldt, Tuala, Linnett, Bowen, Martin, Thurston, Scott, Granville, Bolton, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Hampton, Fensom, Hoare – Reserves: Lowe, Molo

Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Jordan McLean, John Asiata

  • North Queensland’s hopes of reaching the finals were all but ended with a loss against bottom-placed Parramatta last week. The Cowboys were second best for much of the game with two late tries giving the score a closer look than was deserved as they lost 20-14.

  • Justin O’Neill and Antonio Winterstein are both left out of the side with Paul Green losing patience with the out-of-form pair. Kane Linnett comes into the centres with Javid Bowen on the wing. Michael Morgan has recovered from his groin injury to take the place of Lachlan Coote at fullback whilst Scott Bolton and Ben Hampton are also back in the 17.

  • The Cowboys have only won one of their last five matches whilst they have won just two of their five games at 1300SMILES Stadium this season.

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Beale, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Gavet, Luke, Paasi, Papali’i, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Lawton, Satae, Afoa, Mannering – Reserves: Sao, Gelling

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Leivaha Pulu, Jazz Tevaga, David Fusitu’a

  • New Zealand Warriors benefitted from their bye week as they produced a six-try display to defeat Manly last week. With Shaun Johnson back in the side, the Warriors looked dangerous with ball-in-hand as they secured a 14-34 win.

  • David Fusitu’a is a late scratch with his place taken by Gerard Beale. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also returns to the side at fullback with Peta Hiku reverting to his more natural centre position.

  • The Warriors are on the road again this week and will be confident of claiming another win on their travels. They have only lost one of their six away games this season which was against Melbourne in Round 8.

THE PREDICTION

Whilst North Queensland’s season looks cooked at this relatively early stage, New Zealand Warriors have everything to play for with the minor Premiership well within their grasp. The Warriors cemented their place in the top 4 with a solid win over Manly last week and will hope to continue to keep the pressure on those above them here. They face a Cowboys side that fell to bottom-placed Parramatta in a hugely disappointing result last week. The Cowboys have a few players back to boost their ranks whilst they have also dropped some of their senior men who have been underperforming. It will be a big ask for the Cowboys to get anything out of this one with the Warriors travelling so well and the return of captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will ensure the team from New Zealand maintain their good away form.