Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The North Queensland Cowboys will be sweating on the return of Jason Taumalolo as they attempt to keep a long-running winning streak going against the Gold Coast Titans on Friday evening. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEDT).
It’s been 1589 days since the Titans beat the Cowboys, and 2617 days since they tasted victory in Townsville, so it’s a long streak the club have to overcome this evening.
In that time, the difference between the two sides on the ladder for the most part has been immense, but 2019 has brought a change in fortunes for the Cowboys, who will be absolutely desperate for the two competition points this evening.
Paul Green’s side come into the match with just two wins for the season, and neither are confidence-filling, given one was early doors with Jason Taumalolo on the park in terrible weather, and the other was an uninspiring effort to dismiss the inconsistent New Zealand Warriors.
While the North Queensland forward pack hasn’t been terrible, their attack has been, and they come into this game with a chance to address that against a Gold Coast side who have had some pretty ordinary defence at times this year.
Just three weeks ago, the Titans got their first win of the season aganist the Panthers, but in doing so, had an incredible soft middle third.
They have improved with the proper return of Ashley Taylor, but without an incredible attack, they need to be strong in defence, which is exactly what they weren’t as the Tigers snapped their two-game winning streak last week.
The Titans defence, while trying to learn to operate without Ryan James, was brittle up the middle and poor on the edges, which is something they must address this week, particularly if the aforementioned return of Taumalolo is given the go ahead.
Even without Taumalolo though, the Titans need to find a way to clean up their discipline both with and without the footy to get over a side they have struggled against in recent years.
The Cowboys will be out to reverse some worrying results, and really, at home against the Titans, this is already a must-win game in just Round 8 if they are going to play finals footy. Their attack is a concern, but so is the Titans defence. The home side should get the job done.
Cowboys by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 NRL season from 6pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 6pm (AEDT)
Venue: 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville
TV: Live, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Cowboys $1.70, Titans $2.10
Overall record: Played 21, Cowboys 13, Titans 8
Last meeting: Round 25, 2018 – Titans 26 defeated by Cowboys 30 at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Last five: Cowboys 5, Titans 0
Record at venue: Played 11, Cowboys 8, Titans 3
Referees: Adam Gee, Gavin Badger
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Jordan Kahu 2. Justin O’Neill 3. Tom Opacic 4. Enari Tuala 5. Ben Hampton 6. Jake Clifford 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matt Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Josh McGuire 13. John Asiata
Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Coen Hess 16. Scott Bolton 17. Francis Molo 19. Mitchell Dunn 20. Jason Taumalolo
Gold Coast Titans
1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Max King 18. Jai Whitbread 19. Jack Stockwell