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Cowboys v Knights: Payten's side unchanged; Frizell out for Knights

The Cowboys return home to Queensland Country Bank Stadium having strung three wins in a row and will fancy their chances against a Knights outfit who haven't scored a try in two games. 

North Queensland have been the surprise packets of the 2022 season so far with halves Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden clicking behind a forward pack led by Cowboys powerhouse Jason Taumalolo, who has found his groove. 

Newcastle are reeling after heavy back-to-back defeats on home turf and on the back of a six-game losing streak, they now find themselves on the bottom of the ladder.

Injuries have hit the Knights with a host of stars due back in the next month but with a 2-6 start, Adam O'Brien's side need to find something in attack and defence before their season officially slips away.

Making matters more challenging, the Cowboys hold a five-game winning streak over the Knights in Townsville since 2015.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Cowboys v Knights

The Rundown

Team news

Cowboys: Reuben Cotter and Tom Gilbert earned starts against the Eels and will d so again on home turf, with Cowboys coach Todd Payten sticking with the side named earlier in the week. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is confirmed to come off the bench after a super-sub effort last week.

Knights: Tyson Frizell is a massive loss for the Knights, with Jack Johns to start in the secondrow and Nathanael Sasagi promoted to the interchange. Tex Hoy replaces Jake Clifford in the halves but could shift back to fullback on game day, with Kalyn Ponga coming into five-eighth. Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Dom Young have been cleared to return from knee injuries in a boost for the visitors and will take their place for Saturday's game.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
    Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Edrick Lee
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Enari Tuala
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Knights is number 5 Dominic Young
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Tex Hoy
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Knights is number 7 Phoenix Crossland

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben Cotter
    Prop for Knights is number 10 Daniel Saifiti
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Lachlan Fitzgibbon
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
    2nd Row for Knights is number 14 Jack Johns
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
    Lock for Knights is number 13 Leo Thompson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jacob Saifiti
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
    Interchange for Knights is number 16 Mat Croker
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Coen Hess
    Interchange for Knights is number 17 Pasami Saulo
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
    Interchange for Knights is number 18 Simi Sasagi

Reserves

  • Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Jake Granville
    Replacement for Knights is number 21 Brayden Musgrove

Match Officials

  • Referee: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton

Last updated:

Key match-up

Valentine Holmes v Enari Tuala: The battle of the centres will be a highlight for the match with Maroons representative Holmes lining up against former Cowboy Tuala in the centres. It's the first time Tuala has played in the centres since round 18, 2021, while Holmes is continuing to learn his trade in the role after a permanent switch this year.

Stat attack

Newcastle's inability to score points has been well-documented in recent weeks and it all starts in the middle. The Knights have had two strong seasons with their forward pack punching out huge numbers but injuries and suspensions are playing a big part in the lack of yardage this year. Newcastle's 11,254 metres from eight rounds ranks 14th in the competition with middle men David Klemmer, Daniel Saifiti and Jacob Saifiti struggling to replicate their efforts from previous seasons. The Cowboys have no such struggle with the side ranked third in the competition for yardage overall.

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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