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He may have been watching from the sidelines in mental and physical anguish but no-nonsense North Queensland Toyota Cowboys forward Shaun Fensom has clear memories of the last time his team met the Parramatta Eels.

It was Round 9 when the Eels inflicted the Cowboys' worst defeat at home in years, the men in blue-and-gold running rampant in the 26-6 result in Townsville.

Six weeks on and the teams occupy seventh and eighth positions on the National Rugby League ladder, both sides desperate to entrench themselves in the top half of the draw with victory in Saturday’s Round 14 encounter at Darwin’s TIO Stadium.

Fensom – whose Cowboys career is seven games old – was on the sidelines with an ankle injury that late-April evening and remembers all too well the hollow feeling that accompanied the heavy loss.

“I was close to returning to playing, but had one more week on the sidelines,” Fensom said of the game.

“It was certainly tough to watch as you don’t like to see your teammates getting beaten.

“But we learned some good lessons out of that game and we’re looking forward to facing the Eels again with a much improved performance.”

Fensom has been named alongside Ben Hampton, Coen Hess and Ben Spina in a strong Cowboys bench that performed well against the Titans last-start.

“Our role is to provide energy and consistency off the bench, which I thought we did well on Saturday night,” he said.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 7.30pm, Queensland time (7pm local).

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.