Round 8 preview. Cowboys Vs Raiders.

North Queensland Cowboys vs Canberra Raiders 
Venue:1300Smiles Stadium
Date: 28th of April
Time: 7:35pm AEST 9:35pm NZST

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 Shaun Fensom, 16 Corey Jensen, 17 Ethan Lowe

Reserves: 18 Francis Molo, 20 Enari Tuala

Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton, 2 Nick Cotric, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Blake Austin, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Iosia Soliola, 9 Siliva Havili, 10 Junior Paulo, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii

Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano, 15 Shannon Boyd, 16 Luke Bateman, 17 Dunamis Lui

Reserves: 18 Liam Knight, 19 Michael Oldfield.

Game Preview:
Both sides come into this match sitting 2 and 5 and desperate to get another win on the board. For the Cowboys they will hopefully take something out of last weeks win over the Titans and with that momentum fight their way back to the top 8.

For the Raiders scoring points hasn't been the issue this season, it's all about defence. Last week they had 7 tries out on them and if they offer up the same type of defensive effort this week the Cowboys will do the same.

Key match ups:
Taumalolo vs Papalii

Both these big men will lead their forward packs tonight in attack, but it will be the work in defense that will have the biggest impact. Whichever one of these men decide they will dominate the other wont just go a long way into winning their side the match, I think they will guarantee it.

Taumalolo seems to be finding form last year that seen him rated the best forward in the game, whilst Papalii's trip back to NSW Cup a couple of weeks back gave him the kick up the backside he needed, now earning himself a starting position.
Thurston vs Sezer

Both of these men have admitted to having below par starts to the season, Thurston seemed to turn the corner last weekend, could it be Sezer that does the same tonight?

I'm expecting both to have a hand in a number of tries, but it will be the kicking game of both men that will have the greatest effect on the game. With such big boys on either side getting those crucial touch finders at the right time and not sending the ball dead will have a massive impact on this match.

The Wingers

We will see some of, if not the best finishers in the game tonight going head to head and we are more than likely to see something amazing from one of these four when it comes to a miracle put down. But it will be the work at the start of the sets that is most important.

Both sides will be relying on some big metres early in the sets off kick returns to get their side on the front foot. Those early metres each set will be vital and could just be the difference.

The Canberra Raiders haven't won in Townsville since 2006 and that won be changing this season. The Raider's will score a handful of tries but it will be the sides defence that let's them down. I'm not predicting a golden point thriller like last season but it will be a close one.
Cowboys by 6.



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