The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys return home to host the Parramatta Eels in a Saturday evening clash at 1300SMILES Stadium.
1. SKIPPER’S BIG NIGHT
Cowboys captain Michael Morgan will become just the 15th player to appear in 150 games for the club. Morgan joins a prestigious group including club legends Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen as well as current teammates Matt Scott, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper and Jason Taumalolo. The Townsville-product debuted for the Cowboys as an 18-year-old in 2010 and has gone on to play in two grand finals, represent Queensland and Australia and claim the 2017 Dally M Halfback of the Year gong.
2. FELDT BRINGS UP A TON
Winger and fellow home-grown product Kyle Feldt will also celebrate a memorable milestone on Saturday night. The 27-year-old will become the 27th player to appear in 100 games for the Cowboys, following in the footsteps of John Asiata, who achieved the feat in Round 7. Feldt, who scored the most famous try in club history to send the 2015 grand final to golden point, debuted for the Cowboys in 2013 and has scored at least 14 tries in each of the previous three seasons.
3. SQUARING THE LEDGER
North Queensland and Parramatta have met 40 times since the Cowboys entered the premiership in 1995 and just one win separates the two sides after 25 seasons, with Parramatta holding a 20-19 advantage to go along with one draw. The Cowboys have enjoyed a distinct dominance in the recent clashes, winning 10 of the last 14 meetings stretching back to 2011. The last time the two sides locked horns was Johnathan Thurston’s final ever appearance at 1300SMILES Stadium, a resounding 44-6 Cowboys victory in Round 24 last season.
4. PERFECT STRIKE RATE
With two more tries in the Round 9 loss to the Rabbitohs, Justin O’Neill has crossed the stripe in each of his six NRL games in 2019. O’Neill’s seven tries are tied for fourth-most in the NRL this season, three behind competition leader Cody Walker.
5. HEADING INTO THE NIGHT
Saturday’s match marks the final ‘afternoon’ home fixture for the Cowboys in 2018. North Queensland’s six remaining home games of the 2019 season all kick off at 6pm or later. Following the Eels showdown, the Cowboys embark on a two-week road trip with matches in Canberra and the Gold Coast before returning to 1300SMILES Stadium for a Round 13 meeting with Manly.