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Arguably the match of the round pits two top-five teams against each other in the top end as the Eels make their annual pilgrimage to Darwin.

The Eels shook off both their shocking backline injury toll and a scrappy Easter Monday loss to Wests Tigers to put together a hugely disciplined and professional 80 minutes against the Knights.

Meanwhile this year's surprise packets the Cowboys continue to impress, proving far too strong for a disappointing Titans outfit in Anzac Round.

The standard goes up this week but the North Queenslanders should adapt well to Darwin's heat and humidity; it's a ground they have won two of their three previous trips while the Eels have won six of seven - with their only loss coming against the Cowboys in 2017. 

Sportsbet Betting preview: Eels v Cowboys

Match Rundown

Team news

Eels: The Eels are 1-17 with no late changes. Brad Arthur has gone with the same team that downed Newcastle, with Dylan Brown again in the centres.

Cowboys: Late changes an hour before kick-off with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow joining the bench in jersey No.19 having recovered from a knee injury. Jake Granville drops back to 18th man. Reuben Cotter and Tom Gilbert move into the starting side and Coen Hess and Heilum Luki go to the bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Hayze Perham
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Dylan Brown
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Bailey Simonsson
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Jake Arthur
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Cowboys is number 16 Reuben Cotter
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 15 Tom Gilbert
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Makahesi Makatoa
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 10 Coen Hess
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Ryan Matterson
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 11 Heilum Luki
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon Kaufusi
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Bryce Cartwright
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 19 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

Reserves

  • Replacement for Eels is number 18 Wiremu Greig
    Replacement for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville

Match Officials

  • Referee: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Senior Review Official: Ashley Klein

Last updated:

Key match-up

Nathan Brown v Jason Taumalolo: Brown has worked into the season nicely for Parramatta after a delayed start while Cowboys wrecking ball Taumalolo has really come into some form over the past few weeks. Brown possesses a bit more ball-playing finesse than the North Queensland skipper, who on his day is one of the most damaging ball-carriers in the NRL. 

Stat attack

In-form Eels halfback Mitch Moses continues to stretch his lead atop the season try-assist tally, with one more against the Knights taking him to 13 - five clear of next-best Cameron Munster and Ben Hunt.

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.

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