The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to the nation’s capital this weekend to take on the Canberra Raiders on Saturday afternoon.
1. O’NEILL RAISES THE BAT
Justin O’Neill will become the 28th player to appear in 100 games for the Cowboys when he runs out to face the Raiders on Saturday afternoon. O’Neill joined the club prior to the 2015 season and was a crucial member of the club’s maiden premiership-winning side the same year, scoring the Cowboys’ opening try in the 17-16 victory over the Broncos. The 28-year-old also played in the 2017 grand final and has been in sensational form in 2019.
2. HELLO AGAIN
North Queensland play nine teams twice in 2019 and the Raiders will be the first team ticked off that list. The two teams met for the first time this season in Round 4, with the Raiders running out 30-12 winners. The Titans, Tigers, Dragons, Rabbitohs, Sharks, Broncos, Bulldogs and Storm are the other teams Paul Green’s side will meet twice this season.
3. OLD FOES
The Broncos and Sharks are the only teams the Cowboys have faced more times in their history than the Raiders. In 42 head to head meetings, the Raiders hold a 24-18 advantage, including triumphs in each of the last three clashes. Prior to last season, the Cowboys had dominated the matchup, winning 15 of 21 meetings between 2005 and 2017.
4. AFTERNOON SUN
Saturday’s match in Canberra marks a rare Cowboys outing in the Saturday 3pm timeslot. It is one of only two appearances in the timeslot this season and first since Round 16 of the 2017 season. The other Saturday 3pm fixture for North Queensland comes in Round 22 against the Knights.
5. FLYER RETURNS
Speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby has been named to make his first appearance in the NRL for 2019. Gela-Mosby has spent the first 10 rounds of the season plying his trade for the Northern Pride in the Queensland Cup, but returns to the top grade after the injury to winger Ben Hampton. The 22-year-old has made eight NRL appearances over the course of the last two seasons, scoring six tries.