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Competition - NRL Premiership.
Date  -   August 25th 2016.
Teams - Bulldogs v NQ Cowboys.
at - Belmore Sports Ground.
Pic -  Grant Trouville @ NRL Photos.

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v GOLD COAST TITANS
5.30pm, Saturday 3 September, 1300SMILES Stadium

Referees: Matt Cecchin, Dave Munro
Review officials: Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten, Jason Robinson
Touch judges: Michael Wise, Rickey MacFarlane

Cowboys: 4th (14 wins, nine losses, two byes): 32 points
Titans: 8th (11 wins, 11 losses, one draw, two byes): 27 points


TEAMS

Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6. Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Scott Bolton, 9 Jake Graville, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn, 15 Coen Hess, 16 Patrick Kaufusi, 17 Ben Hannant. Coach: Paul Green.

Titans: 1 Jarryd Hayne, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Josh Hoffman, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Nene MacDonald, 6 Tyrone Roberts, 7 Ash Taylor, 8 Luke Douglas, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James, 11 Zeb Taia, 12 Chris McQueen, 13 Greg Bird. Interchange: 14 Leivaha Pulu, 15 Ryan Simpkins, 16 Agnatius Paasi, 17 Nathan Friend (c), 18 David Mead, 19 David Shillington. Coach: Neil Henry.


CASUALTY WARD

Cowboys: Sam Hoare (knee/shoulder) – season; Matt Scott (finger) – Finals, Week 1; John Asiata (quad) – Finals, Week 1.

Titans: Eddy Pettybourne (leg)/ Daniel Mortimer (hamstring) – indefinite; Nathan Davis (leg)/ Kane Elgey (ACL)/ Matt Srama (ACL)/ Karl Lawton (leg) – season.


MATCH FACTS

  • History: Played 15 – Cowboys 8, Titans 8. These sides have split their previous eight games dating back to 2011.

  • The Cowboys have won three of the past four matches between the sides, and are looking for a hat-trick of wins. The Cowboys also hosted the Titans in round 26 of the 2015 premiership, prevailing 42-12.

  • The Cowboys’ biggest win over the Titans was that 42-12 win, while the Titans bested the Cowboys 37-18 on the Gold Coast in 2010 and 31-12 in 2013, also at their home ground.

  • The Titans boast the top two average tacklers across the two teams, with Ryan James (39 per match) and Nathan Peats (38) leading the way.

  • Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo averages 167 running metres per game, which is the second-highest in the comp, slightly behind Bulldogs skipper James Graham (171m).

  • Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston continues to be among the NRL leaders in the goal-kicking stakes, with the veteran half hitting on 82 of 96 attempts in 2016, a strike rate of 85%. He is just behind the Knights’ Trent Hodkinson, who is converting at 86%, or 44 from 51.

  • The Cowboys have completed 699 sets in 2016, the second-most in the NRL and four ahead of the Titans.

  • The Cowboys have the second-highest home crowd averages in the comp. Across 11 regular season games in 2016, the Cowboys attracted 16,280 on average, more than 1,000 per game ahead of the third-placed Melbourne Storm. The Brisbane Broncos lead the way with a home crowd average of 33,405.

KEY MATCH-UP – ETHAN LOWE v CHRIS McQUEEN

Two hard-working back-rowers with stamina and strength set the scene for an enthralling battle in the forward pack.

Enjoying career-best form and having recently spent some time as a middle forward, Lowe was one of his team’s best against the Bulldogs and will be looking to continue the sort of high-level consistency that earned him a spot as Queensland State of Origin 18th man this year.

McQueen has tasted Origin football for the Maroons and is a true forward pack leader, and at 29, can be considered an NRL veteran with seven seasons in the top grade.

These men do a lot of unflashy but necessary things in a game – making loads of tackles, taking tough carries, running decoys – and it’s this work ethic and selflessness that makes them valuable members of their respective teams.  


FINAL WORD

Cowboys coach Paul Green: “There’s healthy competition between all of our players … it’s good for the team and keeps everyone on their toes. They all need to know that they need to be in form.”

Titans fullback Jarryd Hayne on Johnathan Thurston: “He could go down as the best ever. He’s had a great career and achieved so much.”

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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