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Five things you need to know: Round 9 v Roosters

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Sydney Roosters at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Thursday night.

1. PRIMETIME

North Queensland will play their second of three games in the primetime Thursday night timeslot. The Cowboys’ first Thursday night foray was a Round 2 victory over the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium. Following tomorrow night’s showdown with the reigning premiers, the Cowboys’ next and final Thursday night fixture of 2020 comes in the final round against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

2. YOUTH MOVEMENT

Paul Green has turned to three young guns to add some spark to his side against the Roosters. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has been recalled to play fullback after missing the clash with Parramatta. Connelly Lemuelu lines up in his preferred centre position after debuting on the wing against the Wests Tigers in Round 6, while teenage forward Tom Gilbert returns from suspension on the interchange.

3. TURNING THE TIDE

While the overall head to head record may not make pretty reading for Cowboys fans, Paul Green’s men have enjoyed recent success against the two-time reigning premiers. The Cowboys have won two of their last three fixtures against the Roosters, including a 15-12 triumph in Gavin Cooper’s 300th NRL game last season.

4. HAPPY HUNTING

Star Cowboys recruit Valentine Holmes has proved a handful for the Roosters over the course of his career. Holmes’ seven tries in eight games facing the Roosters are his second-most against any side, trailing only his 13 in eight fixtures with the Knights.

5. WELCOME BACK

Around 7,500 Cowboys members, corporates and sponsors are expected at Queensland Country Bank Stadium tomorrow night. That number is an extra 5,500 than was permitted to attend the victory over the Knights in Round 7.