NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS NYC
Date: 12.40pm, Saturday 5 July
Venue: WIN Jubilee Oval
Live updates: twitter.com/nthqldcowboys
Referees: Grant Atkins, Lawrence McDonnell
Sideline officials: Luke Potter, Matt Noyen
Video referees: Alan Shortall, Paul Mellor
TV: Fox Sports 1 live
Main game: 5.30pm
COWBOYS: 1. Yamba Bowie 2. Samsen O'Neill 3. Lenny Magey 4. Conor Carey 5. Scott Schulte 6. Delayne Ashby 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Viliame Kikau 9. Josh Chudleigh 10. Jack Kelleher 11. Coen Hess 12. Corey Jensen 13. David Munro. Interchange: 14. Dan Clarke 15. Andrew Niemoeller 16. Kieran Quabba 17. Michael Barclay.
DRAGONS: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Izaac Thompson 3. Sitiveni Moceidreke 4. Brent Anderson 5. Rowland Kotobalavu 6. Shannon Crook 7. Adam Clune 8. George Lolo 9. Hayden McRae 10. Dylan Lauri 11. Wesley Lolo 12. Vincent Stowers 13. Jack Bird. Interchange: 14. Bronson Hoani 15. Logan Harris 16. Harry Stewart 17. Andrew McCarthy.
RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD: In their last meeting (round 14 in 2013), the Dragons raced to a 22-0 lead before finishing up as 30-14 winners in Wollongong. In the overall head-to-head, the Dragons have a 5-2 advantage with one draw.
FORM GUIDE: The Cowboys have lost three in a row, including two away from home, to slide to 13th on the ladder, six points out of the top eight. The fifth-placed Dragons have hit a rough patch as well, losing two of their last three including a 26-6 loss to Melbourne in Wollongong on Saturday night.
HOME AND AWAY: North Queensland have won three and lost four away from Townsville this year, while St George Illawarra have done well at home, winning six from eight.
KEY STAT: The Dragons should come out firing after being kept scoreless for the last 74 minutes against the Storm. A week earlier, they ran in eight tries against the Gold Coast Titans.
WHO’S NEW FOR NQ: Halfback Cooper Bambling is back after missing the last two weeks with a shoulder injury he sustained playing for the Queensland under-18s against NSW. His Maroons teammate Coen Hess also returns from a one-week layoff due to an ankle injury.
COWBOY TO WATCH: Hooker Josh Chudleigh was given a training run with NQ’s NRL squad at the start of the week, showing how well regarded he is at the club. In a man-of-the-match performance against Souths last week, he had nine runs for 110 metres, a try, a try assist, a linebreak and 29 tackles.
DRAGON TO WATCH: Euan Aitken is a big threat in the No.3 jersey. In a well beaten side on Monday night, he still managed to run for a team-high 185 metres (nine tackle busts). A week earlier, he collected three tries against the Titans. The Cowboys will remember he scored twice against them in Wollongong last year.
THE COWBOYS’ FINAL SAY – COACH TODD WILSON:
Last week was a missed opportunity for us and one that we must learn from.
A number of unforced errors meant that we weren’t able to take advantage of some good field position and allowed Souths to close the game out.
This week we welcome back Cooper Bambling and Coen Hess as we take on the Dragons in Sydney.
The team has trained strongly this week and can build confidence from the opportunity to train with the NRL team as a part of our preparation.
This week’s theme is Urgency, Energy and Enthusiasm.
With the added motivation of a TV broadcast game, it's an opportunity to compete and perform at our best against one of the leading teams in the competition.