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Five things to know: Magic Round v Roosters

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Brisbane to take on the Sydney Roosters at Magic Round.

1. MILESTONE MAN

Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo will become just the eighth player to appear in 200 games for the Cowboys when he takes the field this weekend. Taumalolo joins Johnathan Thurston, Matt Bowen, Matt Scott, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Aaron Payne and Paul Bowman on an illustrious list to reach the milestone. Appearing in 200 games triggers automatic Cowboys Life Membership for Taumalolo.

2. MAGIC WEEKEND

All 16 clubs will descend on Brisbane for the NRL’s second edition of Magic Round. The Cowboys take on the powerhouse Sydney Roosters in the third game on Saturday and fifth overall for the weekend. The two clubs are familiar with locking horns in unfamiliar places, clashing in Gosford twice and Darwin once.

3. FIGHTING BACK

While the recent history between the two sides has been reasonably even, the Cowboys still trail heavily in the overall head-to-head match-up with the Roosters. The Tri Colours have won 27 of the 39 encounters, including the lone fixture in 2020.

4. SETTLED 17

Todd Payten has named an identical side to the one who toppled Brisbane in last weekend’s XXXX Derby. Javid Bowen remains at centre and Jake Clifford at halfback on the back of impressive returns to the NRL in Round 9.

5. STELLAR STRIKE RATE

Cowboys fullback Valentine Holmes has enjoyed taking on the Roosters over the course of his career. Holmes has scored seven tries in just nine games against the Sydney outfit and between 2016 and 2018 crossed the stripe in five consecutive outings.