2020 NRL – North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos taking place? Friday 13th March, 2020 – 09:05 (UK)

Where is North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos taking place? Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

What is the expected weather for North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos? 28c in mostly cloudy skies

What channel is North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos on? Sky Sports Arena will be televising selected NRL games in the UK and you can find their schedule here. For Australian broadcasters, you can find a list here

Where can I stream North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos? If televised on Sky Sports, then subscribers will be able to stream the match live via Sky Go. Alternatively, the match will be available to subscribers of Watch NRL

Where can I get tickets for North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos? Click here for ticket information on 2020 NRL matches

THE TEAM NEWS

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

Starting 13: Holmes, Feldt, O’Neill, Marsters, Hampton, Drinkwater, Morgan, Asiata, Granville, McLean, Cooper, Hess, Taumalolo – Interchanges: Robson, Dunn, Wright, Molo – Reserves: Jensen, Lemuelu, Opacic, Clifford

Unavailable: Josh McGuire (Suspended)

  • North Queensland were poor last season and will want to put it behind them quickly as they move into their new stadium in Townsville with the Cowboys boasting one of the biggest signings during the off-season.
  • Valentine Holmes will line-up at fullback after his attempt to make it in the NFL was brought to an end by the Cowboys who enticed him back to rugby league with a huge contract and he will be keen to make up for lost time.
  • The Cowboys have opted to go with Scott Drinkwater alongside Michael Morgan in the halves but they still look light of options in the three-quarter line and there will be a lot of pressure on new signing Esan Marsters to hit the ground running.

BRISBANE BRONCOS

Starting 13: Isaako, Oates, Staggs, Boyd, Arthars, Milford, Croft, Flegler, Turpin, Haas, Fifita, Pangai Jnr., Carrigan – Interchanges: Farnworth, McCullough, Kennedy, Hopoate – Reserves: Bullemor

Unavailable: Jack Bird (Injured), Alex Glenn (Injured), Jordan Kahu (Injured), Sean O’Sullivan (Injured), Keenan Palasia (Injured), Matt Lodge (Injured)

  • Brisbane managed to sneak into the play-offs after an underwhelming season but they might have been better served missing out after they were humiliated by Parramatta in a 58-0 demolition in their first game of the finals.
  • Head coach Anthony Seibold will hope to get more from his talented squad this time around but the Broncos have been dealt a huge blow on the eve of the season with Jack Bird suffering an ACL injury in training that will rule him out for the year.
  • Bird had earned the fullback spot but that will now go to Jamayne Isaako who has also been training in that position after spending last year on the wing, whilst Seibold has chosen to promote Herbie Farnworth to fill the void left by Isaako among the interchanges.

THE PREDICTION

Both of these teams will be desperate to improve this season but for different reasons. North Queensland failed to mount any form of challenge for the play-offs last year and will be eager to put that behind them in their first season in their new stadium. They host Brisbane in this opening match with the Broncos needing to show a response after their capitulation at the end of last season in which they were embarrassed in the play-offs. Either side could come out on top here but with the Cowboys wanting to make a mark in their new home, they should be able to earn the victory.

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