South Sydney Rabbitohs vs North Queensland Cowboys: NRL live scores, blog

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    Rabbitohs vs Cowboys

    NRL, 16 July, 2017

    Barlow Park
    Fulltime - Rabbitohs 10, Cowboys 23
    Rabbitohs   Cowboys
    10 FINAL SCORE 23
    2 TRIES 4
    Referee: Gavin Badger
    Touch judges: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski & Michael Wise
    Video Referee: Luke Patten

    Match result:

    The Cowboys have recorded their third win on the trot after beating South Sydney 23-10 at Barlow Park.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    South Sydney Rabbitohs 10
    North Queensland Cowboys 23

    Match preview:

    The South Sydney Rabbitohs face the tough task of keeping their season alive against a North Queensland Cowboys side gunning for a top four finish. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 4pm AEST.

    South Sydney were rampant in their demolition of the Panthers in Round 17 but followed it up with yet another woeful performance against a starless Roosters side.

    Season 2017 had been nothing short of disappointing after finishing 2016 with a wet sail and urging many to believe that this year would see the infamous cardinal red and myrtle green return to finals football.

    With their season on the line, they’ll need to rediscover that attacking flair that helped them destroy Penrith.

    It’s been years in the making, but it’s clear that the Cowboys have finally learnt how to win without the messiah, the king, the best player in the world, Johnathan Thurston.

    North Queensland have shown us all how capable they are by winning five games out of nine in his absence. They can certainly win matches without him, whether or not they can win the premiership remains to be seen.

    For the Bunnies, Braidon Burns makes way for Robert Jennings to fill in at left centre while Sharks bound Aaron Gray shifts out to the wing.

    The Cowboys are unchanged from their Round 17 road trip to Canberra, but could face some changes depending on the fallout from Origin.

    The State of Origin period has been generous to the Rabbitohs. Last week they were presented with a golden opportunity to take on a Roosters outfit missing a host of their stars.

    Lady Luck’s been kind again as they face off against a Cowboys side set to feature three players backing up from Wednesday night’s decider.

    While they failed to fire against the Chooks, they did find plenty of ammunition against Penrith just 5 days earlier. Alex Johnson showed that day what a strike weapon he is bagging give tries and catapulting himself to the top of try scoring list.

    Angus Crichton continues to impress in his full season in the top grade after he ran for over 100 metres and made 32 tackles in yet another 80 minute performance, while Sam Burgess continues to bring the aggression week in week out. He’lll need to bring that in bucket loads if they’re to combat the likes of Taumalolo and company

    As Johnathan Thurston sits out the rest of 2017 nursing a shoulder injury, another JT has continued to give teams nightmares. Jason Taumalolo sits pretty at the top of the charts for most yardage made this this year averaging a whopping 207 meters per game.

    If anyone’s been able to benefit from the extra space it’s been Michael Morgan. Donning the 7 jersey in the place of Thurston, Morgan’s been able to create 12 tries and score 7 for himself.

    If averages are anything to go by, these numbers are set to rise come Sunday afternoon. The open road holds no fears for the Cowboys either. So far this year they’ve managed to win 5 out of 8 matches away from Townsville.

    After 31 matches against one another it’s North Queensland who hold a 16-14 advantage including the one draw. The last time they met was in Round 5 when the Cowboys won comfortably 20-6 at home.

    While they’re playing at a neutral venue in the shape of Barlow Park, it should be an advantage to the Cowboys who are bound to benefit from the home crowd’s support.

    South Sydney are taking this game to Cairns but with the current state of their season perhaps it would have been best to stay at home.

    The Cowboys have been steady all year round despite losing Thurston and a few of their best around Origin.

    If seasons are defined by consistency, then North Queensland have an edge bigger than David Warner’s bat.

    Cowboys by 20.

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