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Five things you need to know: Round 20 v Dragons

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Sydney to face the St George Illawarra Dragons at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

1. MORE OF THE SAME

Sunday’s game marks the second meeting between North Queensland and St George Illawarra. The Cowboys triumphed 31-12 after jumping out to a commanding early lead. North Queensland lead the overall head-to-head match-up 19-17, including winning three of the previous four.

2. HOLDING FIRM

Todd Payten has named an identical 17 from last weekend’s clash with the Tigers. Maroons star Reuben Cotter remains a chance to return from a hamstring injury suffered prior to Round 15. Origin commitments and injury have prevented Cotter from playing for the Cowboys since the Round 12 battle with Penrith.

3. UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY

Despite clashing 36 times in their history, only five of those have come at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, with the Cowboys victorious in one – a 36-16 triumph in Round 12 of the 2003 season behind a Matt Sing double. The most recent meeting between the two sides at Kogarah was in 2014. The Cowboys did face the Sharks at the venue last season.

4. ON THE ROAD

The Dragons clash is the first of three consecutive away games for North Queensland. Following this weekend’s game, the Cowboys travel to Bundaberg to face the Bulldogs and finish the road trip with a rare appearance at the SCG to battle the Roosters.

5. STATS UPDATE

Valentine Holmes has jumped out to a huge lead in the race for the NRL’s leading point scorer. Holmes’ 164 points are 17 more than second-placed Sam Walker, although the Roosters half has played an extra game. Holmes has also kicked the most goals in the NRL with 67. His two field goals are also tied for second. Jason Taumalolo sits third with 1,117 post-contact metres, while Chad Townsend ranks second with 15 try assists. Reece Robson’s 740 tackles are third in the competition, while Peta Hiku’s 305 carrier are fifth most.

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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