The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Newcastle Knights at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday night.
1. MORE OF THE SAME
Todd Payten has named an unchanged 17 to face the Knights. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow continues in his role off the bench as he works back to full speed following a PCL injury. Reuben Cotter starts in the front row following on from his heroic 80-minute performance in the victory over the Eels. Tom Gilbert will again start in the second-row with Heilum Luki reverting to the bench.
2. HOME SWEET HOME
The Cowboys will be hoping to keep their dominant home track record against the Knights running this weekend. North Queensland have won five straight home fixtures against the Knights stretching back to 2016. The two teams have split the two home and away fixtures in each of the previous two years. The Knights lead the overall head to head match-up 22-20.
3. ON A ROLL
North Queensland are shooting for four straight victories for the first time in five years. The Cowboys’ previous four-game winning streak came in 2017, beginning in Round 16 and culminating with a 24-12 victory over the Warriors in Round 20, courtesy of a Javid Bowen double.
4. STATS UPDATE
Cowboys players continue to heavily feature toward the top of a number of major statistics. Valentine Holmes sits third in the competition with 71 points, just two shy of second-placed Mitchell Moses. Jason Taumalolo ranks second in post-contact metres with 590, at an average of 74 per game, and third in total running metres with 1348. Chad Townsend’s 3378 kicking metres are fourth in the NRL, while Murray Taulagi leads the competition with three intercepts.
5. HONOURING THE SKIPPER
Cowboys fans will have the opportunity to celebrate Chad Townsend’s 200-game milestone on Saturday night. The North Queensland co-captain reached the mark last weekend, but will also be honoured on field prior to the Knights clash.