The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Brisbane Broncos at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday night.
1. DERBY DAY
The Cowboys have a rare opportunity to complete a clean sweep of the 2022 XXXX Derby fixtures. Along with the Round 3 triumph over the Broncos, North Queensland toppled fellow Queensland rivals the Titans in Rounds 7 and 13.
2. FIERCE RIVALS
North Queensland will be out to continue their recent successful run against Brisbane. The Cowboys have won three of the previous four encounters, including a thrilling 19-18 victory in last season’s clash at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. The Cowboys have won seven of the previous 10 fixtures in North Queensland.
3. NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Luciano Leilua will become Cowboy No.304 when he runs onto Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday night. Originally slated to join the club in 2023, Leilua secured a release from the final year of his contract with the Wests Tigers and arrived in North Queensland last week. The 26-year-old has been named on the interchange for his Cowboys debut, which will also double as his 100th career NRL game.
4. GILBERT RETURNS, REP STARS NAMES
Tom Gilbert is slated to make his comeback from an eye injury against the Broncos. Gilbert missed the clash with Manly, but has been cleared to make his return. All five Cowboys who appeared in last weekend’s Rep Round fixtures have been named to face the Broncos. Queensland stars Valentine Holmes, Murray Taulagi and Jeremiah Nanai as well as Kiwi centre Peta Hiku and Tongan skipper Jason Taumalolo came through the weekend unscathed.
5. STATS UPDATE
Holmes is just three points shy of the NRL point-scoring lead with 133, he paces the competition with 54 goals. Taumalolo ranks second in post-contact metres with 959. Chad Townsend sits second with 14 try assists and fourth in total kick metres. Reece Robson is fourth with 615 tackles and Taulagi leads the NRL with four intercepts.