The NRL heads to Darwin on Saturday night as the Sydney Roosters host the North Queensland Cowboys in what should be an exciting contest. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7:30pm AEST.
Despite notching their second consecutive victory with a win against the Titans, Sydney can ill-afford a repeat of their error riddled performance against the Gold Coast last week.
The Roosters scrapped their way to a vital 18-12 victory against a Titans side languishing near the bottom of the NRL ladder.
Bar a good passage of play midway through the second half, the Roosters were ordinary in possession last week and will need to rectify their poor handling if they are to defeat the Cowboys.
North Queensland is coming off a heavy 42-18 defeat to the Melbourne Storm at home and will be gunning to get a win.
After a very impressive first half, the Cowboy could not sustain their high intensity against Melbourne for the eighty minutes and were punished accordingly. Melbourne were too good, as they have been against all comers, but if the Cowboys however can build on last week’s quality first half performance, then they could find themselves piling on the points against a suspect Roosters defence.
Despite a poor second half against Melbourne, the Cowboys looked very solid during the opening forty minutes against the Storm as they went into the break trailing by just four points.
On the back of strong go forward, Cowboys trio Johnathon Thurston, Matthew Bowen and Aaron Payne tormented Melbourne’s defence.
In the opening stages of the first half last week, Bowen scored a try after grounding a terrific grubber from Payne.
Thurston meanwhile set-up two tries for Gavin Cooper and James Tamou respectively.
Although the Cowboys eventually succumbed to Melbourne’s sustained intensity, Bowen, Thurston and Payne all demonstrated that they are capable of tearing apart any defence if their forwards are able to dominate.
Thankfully for North Queensland, the Roosters pack is not known for grinding opposition into the ground, so the Cowboys will fancy their chances of dominating proceedings upfront.
The Roosters are also not as clinical as Melbourne, as evidenced by their error riddled victory over the Titans.
For Sydney to beat the Cowboys tonight, they have to remain patient in attack and not overplay their hand when in possession.
One of the reasons why Melbourne are so successful at the moment has a lot to do with their ability to maintain structure in attack.
If Roosters halves Mitchell Pearce and Braith Anasta can steady the ship whenever the Roosters get clumsy in attack, then they will cause the Cowboys defence problems.
Overall, this could very well end up being a high scoring contest. The Cowboys however look more capable of scoring the points necessary to keep a chaotic Roosters outfit at bay.
Cowboys by 8.