We’re counting down our final season at our inaugural home ground – with just seven regular season home games left at 1300SMILES Stadium, we take a look at the rivalry played out in North Queensland between the Toyota Cowboys and the Parramatta Eels.
Meetings – 17
Head to head – Cowboys 10 wins, Eels 6 wins, 1 draw
Biggest victories – Cowboys def. Eels 46-4 in Rd 20, 2015; Eels def. Cowboys 26-6 in Rd 9, 2017
1996 – Round 9: Eels def. Cowboys 26-12
Parramatta ventured to North Queensland for the first time during the Cowboys second season in the premiership and flexed their muscle behind Kiwi Test centre Jarrod McCracken and Maroons second-rower Jason Smith, who both scored tries in a convincing Eels victory. Centre Justin Loomans and winger Kris Tassell scored for the Cowboys, while fullback Reggie Cressbrook and lock Willie Poching kicked a goal each.
2015 – Round 20: Cowboys def. Eels 46-4
Looking to extend their club-record winning streak to 10 games, the Cowboys thumped the Eels behind a man of the match performance from hooker Jake Granville. Granville scored a try to go along with three line-breaks and two try assists in a commanding effort. Lock Jason Taumalolo scored a double, while Lachlan Coote, Rory Kostjasyn, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein and Matt Wright also scored. Johnathan Thurston booted seven goals from eight attempts.
Last regular season game
2018 – Round 24: Cowboys def. Eels 44-6
In Johnathan Thurston’s final ever game at 1300SMILES Stadium, the Cowboys ran riot in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,095. As he had done so many times before in front of the North Queensland faithful, Thurston produced a magical performance at age 35. JT produced two try assists, was a perfect eight from eight with the boot and was chaired off the field by long-time teammates Matt Scott and Gavin Cooper after completing a lap of honour. Scott also played his 250th game on the night, while Cooper scored his eighth try in as many games to break a 100-year old record set by Immortal Frank Burge. Kyle Feldt scored a hat-trick, Ben Hampton crossed twice and Gideon Gela-Mosby once.
Both teams come into the match after suffering losses at Magic Round. The Cowboys sit 13th, while the Eels are just inside the top eight with five wins from nine matches.