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Round 1 of the NRL season continues tonight as the North Queensland Cowboys host the Brisbane Broncos at their new Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 8:05pm (AEDT).
This Queensland derby always produces great matches, and we would expect no different tonight. Both teams would likely to quickly move on from what were disappointing seasons in 2019.
The Cowboys team, on paper at least, look like contenders. Valentine Holmes makes his return from the NFL at fullback and Scott Drinkwater, who had a fantastic NRL Nines, has forced himself into the no.6 jersey in front of Jake Clifford.
Any pack with Jason Taumalolo commands respect but his support troops were a bit lacking last season. The early signs are that Coen Hess has returned in great shape and we can expect him to regather some of his best form.
Similarly, the Broncos have a solid team on paper. Kotoni Staggs is tipped for a big season, while Anthony Milford will be looking to take advantage of any lethargy in the Cowboys pack.
Payne Haas and David Fifita headline a large Broncos forwards group. All eyes however will be on Brodie Croft and whether he can steer this team around the park, something which was a problem for the Broncos last season.
Early season predictions are difficult with trial form not really providing a guide.
However, at their new home in front of a big crowd, I think the Cowboys will put on a show.
Cowboys by 10
When: 8:05pm (AEDT)
Where: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
TV: Channel Nine, Fox League
Online: Kayo, Foxtel GO, Live Pass
Betting: North Queensland $1.70, Brisbane $2.15
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Ben Hampton 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Michael Morgan 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Reece Robson 15. Mitchell Dunn 16. Shane Wright 17. Francis Molo
1. Jack Bird 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Darius Boyd 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Patty Carrigan
Interchange: 14. Jamayne Isaako 15. Andrew McCullough 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Jamil Hopoate