The Roar
The Roar

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North Queensland Cowboys

north queensland cowboys Coach Graham Murray
Captain Johnathan Thurston
Year entered premiership 1995


Home ground: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville

Premierships: 0

Finishes over the past three years: 2007 – preliminary finalist; 2006 – 9th; 2005 – runners-up.

Gains: Travis Burns (Manly), Ben Harris (Bradford Bulls), Anthony Watts (Sharks), Dayne Weston (Cronulla), Daniel Backo (Mackay), John Williams (Roosters), Anthony Perkins (Brisbane Norths).

Losses: Paul Bowman (retired), Jason Smith (retired), Scott Minto (retired), Brenton Bowen (Gold Coast Titans), Rod Jensen (Huddersfield).

Money Man: Johnathan Thurston – yet again. Carried an injury-hit Cowboys to the NRL preliminary final with two dodgy shoulders last season. And won the Dally M Medal for the second time. The mind boggles at what a fully fit Thurston will do when he finally gets on the field in what looks like round five following two shoulder reconstructions.

One to watch: Luke O’Donnell. After missing the majority of last season due to an horrific hamstring injury the former Test and NSW Origin backrower will be out to make up for lost time. Has already come out to say he won’t be out for a “square up” against Wests Tigers who tore his hamstring off the bone in an ugly “wish bone” tackle. In other words, O’Donnell will be out to make an example of the Wests Tigers next time they cross paths.

Best team: Matt Bowen, Mark Henry, Ben Harris, Ash Graham, Ty Williams, Travis Burns, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, Shane Tronc, Luke O’Donnell, Carl Webb, Justin Smith. Interchange: David Faiumu, Sione Faumuina, Steve Southern, Jacob Lillyman.

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Premiership odds: Centrebet $8.50, SportsBet $9.

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