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Five things you need to know: Round 18 v Melbourne

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to the Sunshine Coast to take on the Melbourne Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

1. SAME SAME

It took 18 rounds, but Cowboys Interim Head Coach Josh Hannay was able to name an unchanged 21-man squad for the first time in 2020. With skipper Michael Morgan and star lock Jason Taumalolo still sidelined, Hannay retained the same squad which toppled St George Illawarra in golden point last weekend.

2. HOME AT THE BACK

Valentine Holmes retains the No.1 jersey after his match-winning performance at fullback against the Dragons. Holmes hadn’t started a game at fullback since Round 8 prior to the Dragons clash, but the 25-year-old appears set to finish the season in his preferred position.

3. WEEKEND FINALE

Sunday’s game marks the final weekend fixture of the season for North Queensland. Following the Storm clash, Hannay’s men take on Penrith on a Friday night in Round 19 and finish the season with a Thursday night showdown with Brisbane in Round 20.

4. RIGHTING THE SHIP

The Cowboys will be out to break a 10-match losing streak against the Storm this weekend. North Queensland’s most recent victory over the Storm was a 32-12 preliminary final triumph in 2015.

 

5. CLUB FIRST

Sunday’s game will mark the Cowboys’ first-ever NRL fixture at Sunshine Coast Stadium. The ground hosted its first NRL game in 2019 and has become the adopted home ground of the Storm in 2020. Although it isn’t completely unfamiliar territory for the Cowboys after playing a trial at the ground against the Titans prior to the 2019 season.