Cowboys v Eels PREVIEW!

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Parramatta Eels
Round 13, 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership
7pm, Monday 8 June, Pirtek Stadium

Tickets: ticketmaster.com.au
Times: Gates open 5.15pm
NYC: 2pm, Saturday 6 June, McCredie Park, Guildford
Referees: Gavin Badger, Chris Sutton
Video referees: Steve Clark, Henry Perenara
Touch judges: Grant Atkins, Brett Suttor

Cowboys: 3rd on ladder (9 wins, 3 losses): 18 points
Eels: 15th on ladder (4 wins, 8 losses): 8 points

TEAMS

Cowboys:  1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Matt Scott (c), 9 Jake Granville, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Ray Thompson, 15 John Asiata, 16 Ben Hannant, 17 Sam Hoare, 19 Rory Kostjasyn.

Eels: 1 Reece Robinson 2 Semi Radradra 3 Will Hopoate 4 Brad Takairangi 5 Ryan Morgan 6 Corey Norman 7 Chris Sandow 8 Junior Paulo 9 Nathan Peats 10 Tim Mannah (c) 11 Manu Ma’u 12 Tepai Moeroa 13 Anthony Watmough. Interchange: 14 David Gower 15 Daniel Alvaro 16 Danny Wicks 17 Pauli Pauli.

CASUALTY WARD

Cowboys: Robert Lui (hamstring), Scott Bolton (hand), Tautau Moga (knee)
Eels: Darcy Lussick (suspension), Isaac de Gois (cheek), Richie Fa’aoso (shoulder), Peni Terepo (pec), Beau Champion (knee), Kenny Edwards (knee)

MATCH FACTS

  • The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have won their past nine matches, which continues a new outright club record.
  • The teams have played each other 31 times, with Parramatta winning 17, North Queensland 13 and one match drawn. The Eels are 12 wins, five losses against the Cowboys at their home field. The Cowboys have won four of the past five matches between the clubs. 
  • North Queensland’s biggest win over the Eels was a 42-6 triumph in Townsville in 2012.
  • Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote has averaged 167 running metres per game this season. Eels winger Semi Radradra's average is 162m.

MATCH UP: Johnathan Thurston v Chris Sandow         

Fresh from steering his side to a thrilling four-point win over Manly last weekend, Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston heads into Monday’s Eels clash full of confidence and well-rested following several days off, on the back of a hectic State of Origin and club schedule.

Thurston will head straight to Maroons’ Origin camp after Monday’s club game, but before then, he’ll be hoping to nullify enigmatic Parramatta playmaker Chris Sandow. 

Sandow has been in inconsistent form this year, but, like he showed against the Panthers last round, he can turn the momentum of a game on its head with a flash of individual brilliance.

Thurston has a reputation for doing the one-percenters in matches, while Sandow is the ultimate opportunist.

Expect plenty of attacking fireworks when these two on are their games.

FINAL WORD

Cowboys coach Paul Green: "I expect them to be desperate. They’re hard to beat at home down there at Parra Stadium. We’re expecting a tough night."

Eels coach Brad Arthur: “We have a 10-day turn-round between games so we'll try and get the players’ minds off footy” ... the Eels take some down time ahead of Monday night's match.