NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS V GOLD COAST TITANS
Saturday 5 September, 7.30pm
1300SMILES Stadium
Referee
: Henry Perenara
Assistant referee: Chris Sutton
Video referees: Jason Walsh and Belinda Sleeman
Touch judges: Jared Maxwell and Luke Phillips

TEAMS

COWBOYS: 3rd on ladder (16 wins, 7 losses): 36 points (2 byes)
1. Lachlan Coote, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O’Neill, 4. Kane Linnett, 5. Antonio Winterstein, 6. Ray Thompson, 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. Rory Kostjasyn, 15. John Asiata, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Ben Hannant 18. Ben Spina.

TITANS: 13th on ladder (nine wins, 14 losses): 22 points (2 byes)
1. Josh Hoffman, 2.David Mead, 3. James Roberts, 4. Brad Tighe, 5. Nene MacDonald, 6. Daniel Mortimer, 7. Kane Elgey, 8. Luke Douglas, 9. Beau Falloon, 10. Ryan James, 11. Agnatius Passi, 12. David Taylor, 13. Lachlan Burr (c). Interchange: 14. Matthew White, 15. Eddy Pettybourne, 16. Nathaniel Peteru, 17. Kierran Moseley, 18. Kalifa Faiai Loa, 19. Matt Robinson, 20. Leva Li.

MATCH FACTS

  • Barring some record-breaking results over the weekend, the Cowboys can’t finish anywhere else but third on the ladder after Round 26, with a second-chance final against either the Roosters or Brisbane (most likely awaiting them).
  • A Cowboys win on Saturday will square the head-to-head legend between the sides at eight games apiece.
  • The Cowboys hold a 4-3 edge in games played in Townsville.
  • The Cowboys’ biggest win over the Titans was a 28-8 result in 2014 at 1300SMILES Stadium.
  • The Titans trounced the Cowboys 37-18 in 2010 and 31-12 in 2013, both at Skilled Park.
  • The past eight matches between the two sides have resulted in four wins apiece.
  • The Titans have no less than nine of their top squad on the injured list.
  • The Cowboys (714) and Titans (603) are first and last in the NRL respectively when it comes to completed sets.
  • The same holds true when it comes to completion rates (78% to 71%).
  • Titans excitement machine James Roberts has 16 tries this season, equal fourth in the NRL.
  • Roberts also has four intercepts for the season, behind only Bulldogs winger Curtis Rona (five) and equal with West Tigers’ Mitchell Moses.
  • Titans enforcer Ryan James gives away the most penalties in the NRL, with 28 conceded this year.

MATCH UPS – Rory Kostjasyn and Kierran Mosely          

The battle of the bench hooker shapes as an intriguing one with Kostjasyn and Townsville product Moseley offering differing skills and abilities in their crucial roles. Playing behind dynamic starting No.9 Jake Granville, Kostjasyn will offer control and reliability around the ruck when he enters the game. A great middle defender and tough as teak, Kostjasyn has been a key player for NQ in the back half of the season. Moseley deputises for Beau Falloon and can be dynamic and creative out of dummy-half half. How these men get themselves into the game should go a long way to their respective team’s chances.

FINAL WORD

Paul Green:  “Putting our game together, consistently, will be a big focus against the Titans.”

Josh Hoffman (Titans fullback): “We want to send our mates out winners.”

CASUALTY WARD

COWBOYS: Tautau Moga (knee)/ Cameron King (knee)/ Michael Morgan (ankle)/ Sam Hoare (ankle) – indefinite.

TITANS: Nate Myles (thumb)/ Will Zillman (back)/ Aidan Sezar (shoulder)/ Christian Hazard (ankle)/ Greg Bird (quad)/ Matt Srama (shoulder)/ Ben Ridge (Knee)/ Davin Crampton (knee)/ Ryan Simpkins (knee) – season.