NYC preview: Cowboys v Eels
Thursday 15 March 2012 9:28 AM
The Sheriff's match preview:
Toyota Cup Cowboys v Eels
Round 3, 2012 Toyota Cup
Toyota Cup Cowboys: 1. Wayne Ulugia, 2. Rogan Dean, 3. Kyle Feldt, 4. Tim Cassidy, 5. Zac Santo, 6. Tennyson Elliott, 7. Sam Foster, 8. Nick Dorante, 9. Nathan Norford, (c) 10. Lloyd McIver, 11. Chris Grevsmuhl, 12. Tom Hancock, 13. Alex Elisala. Interchange: 14. Clifford Beetham, 15. Jack Svendsen, 16. Patrick Kaufusi, 17. John Puna, 19. Anthony Gadd. Coach: Todd Wilson.
Parramatta Eels: 1. Jason Seage, 2. James Tuitahi, 3. Vai Toutai, 4. Trent Jennings, 5. Jacob Gagan, 6. Jason Wehbe (c), 7. Robbie Kamoto, 8. Matt Eisenhuth, 9. Luke Vescio, 10. Rodney Moefaauo, 11. Joseph Ualesi, 12. Kelepi Tanginoa, 13. Frazer Masinamua. Interchange: 14. Kaysa Pritchard, 15. Junior Paulo, 16. Jarrod Azar, 17. Pauli Pauli. Coach: Steve Speechley.
HEAD-TO-HEADSPlayed: 7 – Cowboys 3, Eels 2 (2 draws)Head-to-head at Dairy Farmers Stadium: Played 3 – Cowboys 1, Eels 1 (1 draw)Last game: Eels 29 d Cowboys 16, Dairy Farmers Stadium (rd 10, 2011)Biggest head-to-head wins: Cowboys 50 d Eels 14 (Dairy Farmers Stadium - Rd 7, 2010); Eels 29 d Cowboys 16 (Dairy Farmers Stadium - Rd 10, 2011)
Date: 4.15pm, Saturday 17 March 2012
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Live updates: www.twitter.com/nthqldcowboys
Referees: Peter Gough
Touch judges: Shaun Isaacs, Taylor Worth
Main game: 6.30pm
HOW THE SHERIFF SEES IT...
There’s plenty to suggest that this will be another Toyota Cup thriller...
Not only are both the Cowboys and Eels coming into round three with one win and loss on their records, they very rarely turn on matches that are decided well before full time.
In their seven previous NYC meetings, there have been two draws and another three games decided by 10 points or less.
In addition, both teams have shown the ability to win at the opposition’s venue, with the Eels winning by 13 on their last visit to Dairy Farmers and the Cowboys getting over the top of Parra by six in their last trip to Parramatta Stadium.
The good news for the Cowboys after the disappointment of losing to an intercept try against the Broncos last Friday night is that they welcome three players back from injury and two of them are from last year’s grand final team.
Following off-season shoulder surgery, Tennyson Elliott will slot into five-eighth, while Junior Kangaroo Kyle Feldt, who injured his knee in the final pre-season trial, will return to the centres after spending most of 2011 on the wing.
Feldt’s goal kicking talents will be crucial in what should be a tight contest.
The happiest man of all on Saturday afternoon will be prop John Puna, who will play his first game following surgery for a torn ACL suffered in round nine against St George Illawarra.
He’ll come off a bench that could feature debutant Clifford Beetham if he isn’t the player left off out of the list of five coach Todd Wilson named on Tuesday.
Back-rower Anthony Gadd is also in line to play his first game of the year and could provide the impact off the bench that the Cowboys lacked a little of against the Broncos.
If you’re at the game, keep an eye on the workrate of lock Alex Elisala who looks right at home in his new role after being a winger this time last year.
Cowboys to win 24-20.