Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
In what is likely to be one of the worst games of the season, the Brisbane Broncos came away with a last-second victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville to keep their NRL finals push alive.
The North Queensland Cowboys are all but out of the NRL finals race, but will still look to get themselves up for the Queensland derby as they host a desperate Brisbane Broncos. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:50pm (AEST).
While the points cut off for the 2019 finals is likely to be lower than previous seasons, the Cowboys would still probably need to win all of their last five and even then have other results go their way if they are to sneak into the eight.
However, their form suggests they just aren’t capable of that, with an insipid display against the Tigers last week resulting in a 28-4 belting and Leichhardt.
And while the Cowboys form has been somewhat horrendous, they would love nothing more than to stand up and belt big brother Brisbane, which would put a major dent in their finals aspirations.
The Broncos were their own worst enemy last weekend as they had a strong run of wins over lower sides ended at the hand of Melbourne, with the likely minor premiers running up 40 points.
Given the form of the two Queensland sides, this is hardly likely to be a memorable match, but it will be a desperate one, because while the Cowboys situation is bad, the Broncos are also going to need three, and maybe four wins from their last five matches to play finals footy.
For the Broncos, it all comes down to the performance of their forwards. They are bolstered by the return of Alex Glenn, but still play without Matt Gillett, and if their young guns up the middle can’t slow down Jason Taumalolo and Jordan McLean, then this game could vanish before the visitors know what hit them.
But even then, the Cowboys attack has been a major problem this year, so they need to dominate and hope to score plenty of points up the middle.
Brisbane’s major problem outside of the halves is being consistent in holding onto the ball, and getting a working kicking game. With that operating and a weak back three of the Cowboys, they could flip the contest in their direction.
In saying that, Townsville hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Brisbane over the years, with the NRL’s juggernaut losing six of their last seven there.
A hard game to tip this. Neither team have been setting the world on fire, but this is a derby, and in Townsville, North Queensland should bounce back in an ugly affair.
Cowboys by 6.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 NRL season from 7:50pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville
TV: Live, Fox League 501, Channel 9
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Broncos $1.80, Cowboys $2
Overall record: Played 51, Broncos 33, Cowboys 16, Drawn 2
Last meeting: Round 2, 2019 – Broncos 29 defeat Cowboys 10 at Suncorp Stadium, Broncos
Last five: Broncos 3, Cowboys 2
Record at venue: Played 28, Cowboys 17, Broncos 10, Drawn 1
Referees: Matt Cecchin, Gavin Badger
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Coen Hess 4. Tom Opacic 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby 6. Michael Morgan 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh McGuire 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Shane Wright 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Matt Scott 16. Scott Bolton 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola 19. Reuben Cotter
1. Anthony Milford 5. Jamayne Isaako 18. Gehamat Shibasaki 3. Kotoni Staggs 2. Corey Oates 6. Darius Boyd 7. Jake Turpin 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Tevita Pangai 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange: 14. James Segeyaro 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Patty Carrigan 19. Herbie Farnworth 21. Shaun Fensom