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Five things you need to know: Round 16

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Sydney to take on the Cronulla Sharks at Netsrata Jubilee Oval on Saturday evening.

1. CALVARY RETURNS

Jason Taumalolo and Reece Robson may be on the sidelines, but there is some good news on the injury front for the Cowboys. Star outside back Valentine Holmes returns for his first game since Round 9, while youngsters Murray Taulagi and Daejarn Asi have also been named to make injury returns. Taulagi will line up at centre for the first time in his NRL career, while Asi will partner skipper Michael Morgan in the halves.

2. UP FRONT

Francis Molo has been a bright spot for the Cowboys in 2020 and he will once again have the opportunity to start in the front row against Cronulla. Taumalolo’s injury sees Josh McGuire move to lock and Molo from the interchange to prop alongside Jordan McLean. It will mark Molo’s eighth starting appearance of the season.

3. STARTING GIG

All nine of Reuben Cotter’s NRL appearances had come from the interchange prior to last weekend. With Reece Robson injuring a hamstring at training, Cotter was called upon to start at hooker and the 21-year-old impressed Cowboys coaches. The Sarina product will wear the No.9 for the first time at NRL level against Cronulla, with Jake Granville named on the bench.

4. FORM REVERSAL

The Cowboys will be out to buck a run of losses against Cronulla on Saturday night. The Sharks have won the previous four matches between the two sides, including a 26-16 victory in Round 4. North Queensland’s most recent triumph came in Round 1 of the 2018 season, which was the night club legend Johnathan Thurston celebrated his 300th NRL game.

5. OLD FOE, NEW BATTLEGROUND

North Queensland and Cronulla have met 49 times since 1995, but Saturday’s fixture will be the first between the two at Netstrata Jubilee Oval – the traditional home of the Dragons.