Ethan Lowe version 2.0 is licking his lips at the prospect of another high-level contest as the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys prepare to head to the state’s capital for a Friday night blockbuster against the Brisbane Broncos.
The team fly to Brisbane on Thursday afternoon, straight into the teeth of a rivalry that over the past two seasons can only be described as epic.
The sides have played three golden-point games in the past four matches, while three of those contests were decided by one-point margins.
Saying there’s a bit of anticipation about this Round 2 National Rugby League clash is like saying Jason Taumalolo has a fair carry – a massive understatement.
“We have a pretty good rivalry with the Broncos,” said Lowe.
“There’s been some close games between the sides over the past couple of years so it’s definitely going to be a good one.
“We prepare for them to bring their best … we have to prepare to try and counteract what we know they do well.”
Back-rower Lowe, 25, is entering a new phase of his career after emerging fit and strong from off-season spinal surgery and has reinserted himself in the starting 13, after having his 2016 season ended prematurely with injury.
The hardworking edge forward said he was enjoying being back on the field playing big minutes again, but modestly gave himself a “C” for his first regular season outing of the year against the Canberra Raiders.
And while he may be his own worst critic when it comes to assessing himself, there was nothing average about Raiders behemoth Shannon Boyd’s massive hit on Lowe in the first half.
Lowe was collected in a high-impact ball-and-all tackle that had fans at 1300SMILES Stadium gasping.
But the tough-as-nails Goondiwindi product got up unscathed … not that he didn’t feel the shot.
“I didn’t see him then looked up and then all of a sudden the sun went out,” he joked.
The Cowboys have their captains’ run in Townsville on Thursday morning before embarking on their Broncos mission.
Friday night’s game kicks off at 7.05pm at Suncorp Stadium.