The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the St George Illawarra Dragons at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Friday night.
1. ON THE BACK UP
North Queensland’s Queensland State of Origin stars have been named in the reserves for the Dragons clash by Cowboys Head Coach Todd Payten. Valentine Holmes, Reuben Cotter, Jeremiah Nanai along with Tom Dearden will be assessed upon their return to Townsville on Thursday. A decision on their availability to face the Dragons will be made following Captain’s Run on Thursday afternoon.
2. NOSE IN FRONT
North Queensland will be looking to hold on to a one-game advantage in the overall head-to-head to match up. The Cowboys have won 18 of the 35 meetings, including the most recent – a 38-26 victory in Round 24 last season.
3. HOME SWEET HOME
The Cowboys are chasing a fourth consecutive win at home on Friday night. North Queensland has not lost at Queensland Country Bank Stadium since a Round 4 defeat to the Roosters. Overall the Cowboys have won four of six home fixtures in 2022.
4. MILESTONE MAN?
If Valentine Holmes does take his place for the Cowboys, it would mark the 150th appearance of his distinguished NRL career. Still just 26, Holmes appeared in 105 games from the Sharks between 2014 and 2018 along with 44 Cowboys caps since his club debut in 2020.
5. STATS UPDATE
Holmes leads the NRL with 45 goals at a tick over 80 per cent. He also sits third with 107 total points. Jeremiah Nanai is tied for third with 10 tries, while Jason Taumalolo ranks fifth with 790 post-contact metres. Chad Townsend is second with 13 try assists and fifth with 5062 kicking metres. Reece Robson has climbed to fourth with 527 tackles and Murray Taulagi leads the NRL with four intercepts.