The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Wollongong on Friday night to take on the St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium.
1. STRAIGHT IN THE MIX
New Cowboy signing Scott Drinkwater will play his first game for the club just five days after arriving in North Queensland. The 22-year-old has been named at fullback by Cowboys head coach Paul Green for the Dragons clash, with regular No.1 Jordan Kahu shifting to the centres. Drinkwater scored a try in his sole NRL appearance for the Storm in Round 25 last season.
2. SIXES AND SEVENS
Michael Morgan started the season at halfback before injuries forced Green to shift his skipper to fullback, now in Round 15 he will play five-eighth for the first time in 2019. In 67 career games in the No.6 jersey Morgan has scored 30 tries, including four in 10 games last season.
3. ENCORE PERFORMANCE
Sarina Crocs junior Reuben Cotter has been named to play his second NRL game after regular interchange hooker Kurt Baptiste suffered a torn ACL playing for PNG last weekend. After three lost seasons due to ACL injuries of his own, Cotter made his first-grade debut against Manly in Round 13. The 20-year-old has been in stellar form for the Mackay Cutters in the Queensland Cup this season.
4. YOU AGAIN
Friday night’s encounter will be the second meeting between the Cowboys and Dragons this season. The two sides previously met way back in Round 1 with the Cowboys securing a 24-12 victory at 1300SMILES Stadium on the back of tries to Javid Bowen, Nene Macdonald, Te Maire Martin, Michael Morgan and Justin O’Neill.
5. EVEN STEVENS
The Cowboys hold a slender one-game lead in the head to head match-up with the Dragons. In 31 games since the Dragons and Steelers merged in 1999, North Queensland have won 16 and the joint-venture 15. The Cowboys have won seven of 16 games at WIN Stadium, with their last victory coming in Round 17 of the 2016 season.