Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
|73||M. C. Kam|
|4||M. C. Kam|
Friday night’s action continues with the North Queensland Cowboys playing host to the Wests Tigers. With the Tigers in 12th and the Cowboys in 13th this is a vital game for both sides as they battle to stay in touch with the top eight. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog, starting from 7:55pm AEST.
The Cowboys have looked their best this year with Michael Morgan at fullback. While they have signed promising up-and-comer Scott Drinkwater from the Storm during the week, he may struggle to find a starting spot if Morgan continues to impress at the back.
The Cowboys have implemented a number of changes from last week. Enari Tuala moves from wing to centre after Mitch Dunn injured his shoulder last week, with Javid Bowen coming into the starting side on the wing. Scott Bolton has been promoted to starting front-rower to cover for Jordan McLean’s hamstring injury.
The Tigers have made several changes too. Corey Thompson retains his spot at fullback, with skipper Moses Mbye shifting to the centres to accommodate Thompson at the back.
Robert Jennings has also been recalled to the side on the wing after being dropped last week, while Mahe Fonua has been named in jersey 18 despite picking up a foot injury last week. Benji Marshall has also been named to play after he suffered an eye injury against Canberra.
This should be a cracker match. With NSW front-rowers dropping like flies at the moment, Tigers’ prop Alex Twal could catapult himself into contention for a bench spot if he has a big game.
The same goes for Tigers back-rower Ryan Matterson, who was in the NSW squad for game 1. With Angus Crichton being discussed as a player to be dropped from the side, Matterson can certainly play his way into consideration in this game.
I like the Tigers in this one. Corey Thompson provides plenty of spark at the back, and is very illusive bringing the ball back from kicks.
The halves pairing of Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall is head and shoulders above that of John Asiata and Jake Clifford. Clifford has a lot of potential, but he hasn’t impressed me much this season and is still clearly learning his craft, while Asiata is a fantastically skilled front-rower, but is not the sort of player you want as your five-eighth week-in-week-out.
There is plenty of spark out wide for the Tigers, and I’m particularly interested to see how Mbye goes in the centres.
The only hope for the Cowboys in this one is if Taumalolo single-handedly destroys Wests through the middle. Otherwise it should be the Tigers who bring home the bacon in this game.
Tigers by 12
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:55pm AEST.
Where: 1300Smiles Stadium, Townsville
Streaming: 9Now, NRL Digital Pass, Kayo Sports
TV: Channel 9, Fox League
1. Michael Morgan 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Enari Tuala 4. Tom Opacic 5. Javid Bowen 6. John Asiata 7. Jake Clifford 8. Josh McGuire 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Shane Wright 16. Corey Jensen 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola 19. Jordan Kahu 20. Dan Russell 21. Emry Pere
1. Corey Thompson 2. Robert Jennings 3. Moses Mbye 4. Esan Marsters 5. David Nofoaluma 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Ben Matulino 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Michael Chee-Kam 13. Matt Eisenhuth 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Chris Lawrence 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Chris McQueen 20. Elijah Taylor 21. Luke Garner