Schick Hydro Preview: North Queensland Cowboys v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
Will he or won't he rest some of his State of Origin superstars?
Cowboys coach Paul Green will undoubtedly flirt with the idea of giving rest to some of his stars including aging Queensland warriors Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott, while in the wake of Origin II it has been revealed that five-eighth Michael Morgan has suffered a suspected knee injury that could sideline him for a month.
With a Cowboys bye the week of Origin III, Green has the option to take a raincheck on resting his rep stars this week.
It could be argued that they would be fine regardless of whether Thurston and/or Scott suit up, such is Manly's current form line, but the Silvertails are definitely dangerous on their day.
Coach Trent Barrett moved his charges around last week, placing No.10 Martin Taupau in the second row, winger Matthew Wright on the bench, back-rower Lewis Brown into the centres, No.19 Pita Godinet at five-eighth and interchange prop Josh Starling into the starting 13. It seemed to cause defensive headaches all over the park as the Titans danced in, around and through Manly's line for an easy 30 points that could have been more.
Barrett may want to keep a steadier roster this week as they face the very best attacking team in the Telstra Premiership (the Cowboys average 26 points per game). He gets halfback Daly Cherry-Evans back from a syndesmosis injury, while Dylan Walker returns from Origin camp. Other ins include Addin Fonua-Blake and Nathan Green, while Matt Parcell (hamstring), Godinet and Liam Knight are the outs.
The Cowboys go in unchanged for now, with every chance some of the Queensland representatives might sit this one out.
First published on NRL.com