Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
North Queensland Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys
Round 19 continues tonight when the North Queensland Cowboys host the Melbourne Storm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:55pm (AEST).
North Queensland face the NRL’s version of Mission Impossible here. The stakes could not be higher, with last week’s loss to the Roosters effectively ending their season.
The Cowboys were deeply in the game in Round 18 for the first hour, before being overrun at the end. The disappointment was evident in the rooms afterwards, with Todod Payten’s men missing a golden chance to stay in the race for finals.
They did look better with the ball last weekend, but their inability to defend their line was telling. Only a staunch Cowboys supporter would give them any chance of countering the onslaught that will hit them tonight.
In a massive blow, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow may have played his last game of the season, after having an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday. His replacement had not been named at time of writing.
Elsewhere, Murray Taulagi replaces the injured Javid Bowen, with Kane Bradley making his NRL debut on the wing. Heilum Luki returns from suspension and replaces Peter Hola, whilst Coen Hess will need to pass concussion protocols to play.
The Storm are simply playing brilliant football at the moment, and are firming to go back-to-back in 2022. The fact that we are even talking about that is testament to the club’s structure and recruitment strategies, which are both first class.
Craig Bellamy’s charges eased to a 48-4 win over the Knights last weekend, with the match over as a contest by half time. Nicho Hynes had a big day out, scoring 20 points; but remarkably, he remains in a battle to hold his spot in the starting line-up, underlining Melbourne’s depth.
Josh Addo-Carr and Christian Welch return to the side after being rested following Origin 3, while Nelson Asofa-Solomona is back from suspension. Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi and Dale Finucane all get a rest this week, but in great news for the Storm, Ryan Papenhuyzen has been named and will get game time off the bench.
The Melbourne Storm seem to be getting better each week and it’s hard to see them losing another game this year.
Their biggest test will likely come against the Panthers next week. It won’t come here.
The Cowboys will be desperate but desperation won’t be enough to stop a Storm team at the very top of their game.
Melbourne Storm by 40
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (withdrawn), 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Murray Taulagi, 4. Connelly Lemuelu, 5. Kane Bradley, 6. Scott Drinkwater, 7. Tom Dearden, 8. Francis Molo, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Shane Wright, 12. Mitchell Dunn, 13. Jason Taumalolo (c)
Bench/Reserves: 14. Tom Gilbert, 15. Heilum Luki, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jake Granville | 18. Lachlan Burr, 19. Michael Bell, 20. Peter Hola, 21. Daejarn Asi
1. Nicho Hynes, 2. Dean Ieremia, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cooper Johns, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich (c), 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Chris Lewis, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Tui Kamikamica
Bench/Reserves: 14. Aaron Booth, 15. Aaron Pene, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Ryan Papenhuyzen | 18. Trent Loiero, 19. Jordan Grant, 20. Isaac Lumelume, 21. Marion Seve