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The North Queensland Cowboys will play their final game at their inaugural home ground on Thursday night against the same club they opened the venue against, the Canterbury Bulldogs in what will be a special night for the club. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:50pm (AEST).
Not only will the Cowboys be playing their final game at the venue before they move across town next year, they will also retire Matt Scott’s number eight jersey for the game, with ‘Thumper’ retiring at the end of the season, but currently out of action after a serious medical scare.
While the Cowboys can’t make the finals and have nothing to play for there, the added motivation of playing to remember the venue fondly, as well as for Scott, should see North Queensland lift for this contest.
However, the Bulldogs have been one of the NRL’s scrappiest, grittiest teams over the last six or so weeks, and there is still a mathematical – very mathematical – chance they could make the top eight.
Playing the first game of the weekend without knowing any other results means they have it all still to play for at this point, so don’t expect the men in blue and white to roll over for the occasion in Townsville.
The Bulldogs have been on a seriously impressive runs, and while we keep waiting for the doors to be blown off the young outfit, it refuses to happen.
Despite not attacking all that well, they have won four games on the bounce, only letting in four tries across their last 320 minutes of rugby league.
That’s an incredible record for such a young team, and tonight, they take on a Cowboys side who look absolutely lost in attack.
The only player who was providing them a spark, Jake Clifford, has been dropped, and Michael Morgan’s form has fallen off a cliff. They are still without Josh McGuire and while they did beat the woeful Panthers last week, this sort of grind game that the Bulldogs like to play won’t suit them.
The Cowboys do have plenty to play for this evening, but in a battle of poor attacks, the better defence should win out.
Don’t expect a classic, and do get on the under points total. There won’t be more than 30 in this one.
Bulldogs by 2.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this match 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 502, Channel 9
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Cowboys $1.72, Bulldogs $2.10
Overall record: Played 38, Bulldogs 23, Cowboys 15
Last meeting: 2019, Round 7 – Bulldogs 24 defeat Cowboys 12 at ANZ Stadium, Homebush
Last five: Cowboys 3, Bulldogs 2
Record at venue: Played 18, Bulldogs 13, Cowboys 5
Referees: Chris Sutton, Belinda Sharpe
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Jordan Kahu 4. Tom Opacic 5. Murray Taulagi 6. John Asiata 7. Michael Morgan 16. Scott Bolton 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Shane Wright 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Coen Hess 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola 19. Tom Gilbert 20. Corey Jensen 21. Enari Tuala 22. Jake Clifford
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14. Jack Cogger 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Chris Smith 19. Danny Fualalo 20. Morgan Harper