Five things you need to know - Round 9

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel south this weekend to take on the Rabbitohs in a huge showdown at Suncorp Stadium.

1. MAGIC MATCH

The Cowboys and South Sydney clash rounds out the NRL’s inaugural Magic Round. All 16 NRL teams will descend on Brisbane for eight matches over the course of four days at Suncorp Stadium. The action kicks off tonight when the Titans take on the Sharks and conclude with the Cowboys Rabbitohs blockbuster at 4.05pm on Sunday afternoon.

2. FLYING FELDTY

Cowboys try-scoring phenomenon Kyle Feldt has been confirmed to make his long-awaited return from injury on Sunday. The 27-year-old missed the first eight rounds of the 2019 season after suffering a groin injury late in the pre-season. The Cowboys 2018 highest try scorer will line up in his usual right wing spot, with Justin O’Neill shifting to the centres.

3. BRAGGING RIGHTS

The Cowboys and Rabbitohs head to head match up makes for entertaining reading. The two sides can barely be separated after 34 clashes in the 25 years since the Cowboys entered the premiership in 1995, with North Queensland winning 17 matches to South Sydney’s 16 to go along with one draw. Prior to a couple of heartbreaking one-point losses last season, the Cowboys had dominated recent fixtures, winning eight of nine matches stretching back to 2013.

4. STREAKING AWAY

With an 80th minute four-pointer in last weekend’s victory over the Titans, Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill has now scored a try in all five of his NRL appearances in 2019. The 28-year-old has a golden chance to keep the streak going against a South Sydney side he has compiled a terrific record against. In 12 games against the Rabbitohs, O’Neill has scored seven tries, his second highest total against any side in the NRL, only behind his nine against Brisbane.

5. PACKING A PUNCH

Jason Taumalolo may have only played three games this season, but the numbers show he is still the NRL’s most damaging ball runner. Despite running for just 44 metres in an injury-shortened Round 2 outing, Taumalolo is averaging a monster 183 running metres a game this season, a figure which is behind only Parramatta fullback Clint Gutherson.