Cowboys v Knights PREVIEW!

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Round 2, 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership
8pm (Qld), Saturday 14 March, 1300SMILES Stadium

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Live updates
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Referees
: Gavin Badger, Matt Noyen (assistant)  
Sideline officials: Rick Macfarlane, Belinda Sleeman 
Video referees: Shane Hayne, Ben Galea
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1, 4TOFM, NRL Digital Pass
Times: Gates open 5.30pm | NYC Cowboys v Knights 5.45pm

TEAMS

Cowboys: 1. Michael Morgan 2. Justin O’Neill 3. Matthew Wright 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Robert Lui 7. Johnathan Thurston (c) 8. Matt Scott (c) 9. Rory Kostjasyn 10. Ben Hannant 11. Gavin Cooper. 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Jake Granville 15. Kelepi Tanginoa 16. Scott Bolton 17. James Tamou 18. Lachlan Coote.

Knights: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. James McManus 3. Akuila Uate 4. Joey Leilua 5. Dane Gagai 6. Jarrod Mullen 7. Tyrone Roberts 8. Kade Snowden 9. Adam Clydsdale 10.Korbin Sims 11. Beau Scott 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Jeremy Smith. Interchange: 14. Tyler Randall 15. Chris Houston 16. David Fa’alogo 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Sione Mata’uita.

CASUALTY WARD

Cowboys: Nil

Knights: Carlos Tuimivave (ankle), Tariq Sims (suspended), Pat Mata’utia (leg), Jaelene Feeney (broken arm) 

MATCH FACTS

  • North Queensland have won three consecutive games against the Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium. 
  • Since 2011 the Cowboys have won 5 of the past 7 games.
  • The last time they met, round 15 last season, Newcastle ran in 7 tries at Hunter Stadium in the 36-28 win.

MATCH UPS 

Matt Scott v Kade Snowden

In his first NRL match since shoulder surgery in the off season, the Cowboys co-captain pushed out an impressive 55 minutes against the Roosters and led the forwards with 18 runs for 149 metres. He’ll again be the driving force for his young pack to hold their ground in front of the home fans. 

Snowden himself admits he’s yet to deliver on his potential at the Knights, but going up against one of the all-time great props in Scott will no doubt see the 28-year-old out to prove his worth. With the departure of Willie Mason and Adam Cuthbertson, he’s now one of the senior forwards at the club. 

Kane Linnett v Dane Gagai 

The Cowboys centre will have his hands full this weekend when he marks up against Gagai, who showed blistering pace and footwork to score two tries and turn the game for the Knights against the Warriors.

Linnett, a strong ball runner, will be using his size and strength to overpower his more agile opponent and will look to open his account for the 2015 season.

COACHES' VIEW

Cowboys coach Paul Green: “They’re always a tough team – they’ve got good outside backs and tough forwards so it’ll be a tough game for us. Hopefully we can show our fans and supporters that round one was a bit of a hiccup and make amends for it Saturday night.”

Knights coach Rick Stone: “With Taumalolo, Scott and James Tamou and some of those boys we have a big job ahead of us but are looking forward to it. We have a spring in our step after the weekend.”