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Five things you need to know: Round 15

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Newcastle to take on the Knights on Sunday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium.


After almost pulling off an upset against South Sydney last weekend, Cowboys Interim Head Coach Josh Hannay has retained the same starting 13 for the Knights clash. The only change in the 17 comes on the interchange, with Reuben Cotter replacing Jake Granville.


His first game back from a shoulder injury may have been below his lofty standards, but Cowboys skipper Michael Morgan was back to his devastating best in Round 14. Morgan scored two tries, registered seven tackle breaks and made 16 tackles in the one-point defeat. He will again partner Ben Hampton in the halves for the Knights clash.


Veteran outside back Justin O’Neill is a chance to return from a knee injury against the Knights. O’Neill has been managing the knee ailment throughout the season and was forced to miss the South Sydney game. The 29-year-old has been named in the reserves and will come into calculations if he is able to make it through the week’s final training sessions.


The Cowboys have enjoyed a golden run in recent years against Newcastle. North Queensland have won 11 of the previous 16 clashes between the two sides, including a 32-20 triumph in Round 7. The Cowboys record in Newcastle is less flattering, winning just six of 19 matches at McDonald Jones Stadium.


Jason Taumalolo has achieved almost everything in rugby league, but there’s one thing the Cowboys superstar is yet to add to his resume – scoring a try against Newcastle. Taumalolo hasn’t crossed the stripe in 10 career matches against the Knights, who along with Melbourne are the only two sides the North Queensland’s No.13 hasn’t registered a try against.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.