Round 7 Preview: Cowboys vs Titans

Source: NRL.com

North Queensland Cowboys vs Gold Coast Titans
1300Smiles Stadium
Saturday. April 21st, 2018
7:30pm AEST, 9:30pm NZ
Team lists 

Cowboys: 
1 Lachlan Coote, 
2 Kyle Feldt, 
3 Justin O'Neill, 
4 Ben Hampton, 
5 Antonio Winterstein,
6 Michael Morgan, 
7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 
8 Matthew Scott (c), 
9 Jake Granville, 
10 Scott Bolton, 
11 Gavin Cooper, 
12 Coen Hess, 
13 Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 
14 Te Maire Martin, 
15 John Asiata, 
16 Corey Jensen, 
17 Ethan Lowe
Reserves: 18 Francis Molo, 19 Javid Bowen
Titans: 
1 Michael Gordon, 
2 Anthony Don, 
3 Phillip Sami, 
4 Konrad Hurrell, 
5 Tyronne Roberts-Davis, 
6 Kane Elgey, 
7 Ashley Taylor, 
8 Jarrod Wallace, 
9 Mitch Rein, 
10 Ryan James (c), 
11 Kevin Proctor, 
12 Will Matthews, 
13 Jai Arrow
Interchange: 
14 Max King, 
15 Bryce Cartwright, 
16 Jack Stockwell, 
17 Keegan Hipgrave
Reserves: 20 Brenko Lee, 22 Leilani Latu
Match Preview
The North Queensland Cowboys are back in very unfamiliar territory on the ladder, languishing with just one win from their first six games as they take on a Titans team out for blood. The Gold Coast Titans were punished last week for some sloppy ball work as Penrith took them to the woodshed at the foot of the mountain. There's been a thousand questions being thrown around this week, mainly based around a Cowboys legend and whether he is past it. 
Paul Green, off the back of signing a contract extension for the next three seasons, named another unchanged squad to take on the Titans. In saying that, he earned the players that no one is safe if they were to have another poor performance, including club legends. 
Phillip Sami shifts from wing to centre for Dale Copley (hamstring) with Tyronne Roberts-Davis called up on the flank. Mitch Rein starts at hooker for Nathan Peats (ribs). Ryan James (suspension) returns at prop, pushing Max King to the bench where Keegan Hipgrave also replaces Ryan Simpkins. Lock Jai Arrow has been named after overcoming back spasms that ended his round six early. Ryan Simpkins is out this week, while Leilani Latu was allowed to come into the 21 in place of Morgan Boyle.
Key Match Ups
Lock it up
The battle of the nuber 13's promises to be a fantastic one, with Jai Arrow trying to force his way into the Queensland Origin system off the back of a great start to the season. Jason Taumalolo will be looking to repeat his performance of last week that everyone had been waiting for, with a dropped ball the only black mark on an otherwise flawless game. This could very well be an Origin audition for the young Titan, who is looking to have a big game against a man on a $10million dollar contract. 
JT v AT 
Remember that club legend that Paul Green hinted at earier in the week? Johnathon Thurston was that man, with 6 performances that would be more akin to that of Mitchell Moses from the start of the season than a future immortal. Greg Alexander has been saying over the past week or so that Thurston has gone a year too long, which looks to be the case so far.
He will be looking to have a big performance against Ash Taylor, who himself has been plagued by a bit of a down season so far. The games in which Taylor hasn't performed or missed with injury, the Titans have struggled in attack. When taylor and Michael Gordon link up, the Titans can score quite a bit and in quick succession. Watch for both halves to dart through the line this week.
Flying Feldt vs The Don
Two of the best finishers in the game will be looking to add to their tallies this week, with Kyle Feldt on a bit of a try scoring run as of late. Anthony Don can not only break a game apart with his finishes, but his defense on Josh Mansour and Viliame Kikau last week spoke volumes about how he has progressed defensively in the last twelve months. There will be two possible results here... Both score and it is a fantastic battle or neither score and it will be a dud. Either way, it will go a long way to proving Feldt as a potential Origin player and Don as a smokey for NSW.
Prediction
It is not often that I will go against the Cowboys at home, just looking at their spine. The form of both teams isn't where they want it to be, and the Cowboys seem to be going backwards. It could go either way, and it isn't exactly a game that people will be making time to watch. IN saying that, I'm putting my upset of the round here. 
Titans 22-14
Chumpie

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