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The Cowboys will be hoping their solid results at home will be enough to quell the exuberance of Cronulla coming to Townsville on the back of three straight victories.

Todd Payten's men had a very unhappy night at 4 Pines Park last week, losing 50-18 after leading 12-0.

But they arrive back at Queensland Country Bank Stadium where they have a 5-2 record and where they've been scoring plenty of tries lately - 12 in total from their past two wins over the Knights and the Warriors.

The Sharks have the top eight in their sights and won't want any more slip-ups like they had against the Panthers last week, when they led 18-0 before scraping home with a Shaun Johnson field goal 19-18.

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Johnson was out injured in the round four 48-10 shellacking of the Cowboys. But Connor Tracey and Will Kennedy will be back again after they had four tries and two try assists between them back in April.

The rundown

Team news

Cowboys: North Queensland will start 1-17 with Daejarn Asi the 18th man.

Origin debutant Kyle Feldt (back) trained well on Tuesday and is right to play. 

Back-rower Mitch Dunn (suspension) is also back in the starting line-up, pushing Coen Hess into the front row and Tom Gilbert to the interchange. 

Kane Bradley and Corey Jensen were the first two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

The Cowboys have won their past five games at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Sharks: Andrew Fifita drops off the Sharks' interchange, with Braden Hamlin-Uele taking his spot. Billy Magoulias is the 18th man.

Wade Graham has not been named after suffering another head knock at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium last Friday night, with the club committed to an "extra cautious" approach because of their skipper's recent history.

Siosifa Talakai makes his return to the starting line-up in Graham's place with Teig Wilton filling the hole on the interchange.

Chad Townsend and Sione Katoa were the first two players omitted from the squad on Thursday.

The Sharks are aiming for four consecutive wins for the first time since 2018.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine Holmes
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Sharks is number 2 Connor Tracey
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Javid Bowen
    Centre for Sharks is number 3 Will Chambers
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Tom Dearden
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Coen Hess
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aiden Tolman
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Mitchell Dunn
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby Rudolf

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
    Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Braydon Trindall
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Tom Gilbert
    Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Teig Wilton
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Lachlan Burr
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Francis Molo
    Interchange for Sharks is number 20 Braden Hamlin-Uele

Reserves

  • Reserve for Cowboys is number 19 Daejarn Asi
    Reserve for Sharks is number 24 Billy Magoulias

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Key match-up

Valentine Holmes v Will Kennedy: Holmes scored a try against his former club last time they met, which was one of the few bright notes for the Cowboys that night.

He comes up against Kennedy, who has played every game for the Sharks this year and dented the scoreboard in most of them with eight tries and eight try assists from his 13 matches. But Holmes is in the top five in the NRL for run metres, making an average of 171 per game - or 50 metres more than Kennedy.

Stat attack

The Sharks are third in the NRL - behind the Panthers and Eels - for post-contact metres with players like Aaron Woods, Toby Rudolph and Jack Williams able to drag defenders upfield before often finishing off with an off-load. The warm tropics aren't expected to slow them down.

 

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