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Five things you need to know: Round 17 v Rabbitohs

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys travel to Sydney to take on the Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium on Sunday afternoon.


Todd Payten is hopeful his five State of Origin stars will back up from Wednesday night’s Game Two for Sunday’s game against the Rabbitohs. Payten will make a final call on the availability of Murray Taulagi, Valentine Holmes, Jeremiah Nanai, Reuben Cotter and Reece Robson following Saturday’s Captain’s Run.


Cowboys co-captain Jason Taumalolo has again been named at lock after a successful return from knee surgery last weekend. Despite starting the game from the bench for the first time in three years, the six-time Paul Bowman Medalist still managed to run for 203 metres from 17 carries against the Panthers.


The Cowboys will be desperate to turn around a rough recent record against South Sydney on Sunday afternoon. North Queensland hasn’t beaten the Rabbitohs since 2017, losing the previous seven encounters. Souths lead the overall head-to-head match-up 21-17.


Valentine Holmes has achieved almost everything in rugby league, but remarkably, scoring a try against South Sydney is a line yet to be added to his resume. Holmes has scored against 15 of the 17 teams in the competition, with Souths and the Eels the two to elude him. Although oddly, Holmes has only managed to play Souths five times in his 174 game NRL career, the least of any team excluding the Dolphins (1) and including his former club Cronulla (6).


Scott Drinkwater remains inside the top five in the NRL for both try assists (13) and line-break assists (18). Chad Townsend sits second for both kick metres (6,856) and toal kicks (219), his 121 attacking kicks are the most in the competition. Despite missing last weekend’s game through Origin duties, Robson sits third in the NRL with 617 tackles.

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.