Fins up to spur on the Cowboys

The air is thick with anticipation as the Cowboys face their weekend round one challenge against the Dolphins.

It’s an away game for the North Queensland team and follows a cracking pair of games played in sin city on the weekend. 

That’s when the Sea Eagles beat NRL spruiker Russel Crow’s South Sydney Rabittohs 36-24 and the Roosters 20 defeated the Broncos 10 in Las Vegas. 

Surprise? Probably not if your read the team sheets. 

Despite that, the performance of Roosters’ Captain and fullback James Tedesco was something he pulled from 2019 when the eastern suburbs last won the premiership.

It bodes well for the NQ Toyota Cowboys who finished 11th last year.   

‘Mr Perpetual Motion’ Rueben Cotter and mercurial half back Tom Dearden take the reins as co-captains this season.

The team is expected to absorb the blow which saw veteran forward Coen Hess tear an ACL against the Canberra Raiders in the last pre-season trial. 

Hess will spend the season on the sideline.

This is the likely line up:

  1. Scott Drinkwater
  2. Kyle Feldt
  3. Zac Laybutt
  4. Valentine Holmes
  5. Murray Taulagi
  6. Tom Dearden
  7. Chad Townsend
  8. Jason Taumalolo
  9. Reece Robson
  10. Jordan McLean
  11. Jeremiah Nanai
  12. Heilum Luki
  13. Reuben Cotter
  14. Jake Granville
  15. Sam McIntyre
  16. Griffin Neame
  17. Thomas Mikaele

Who and what to watch out for

Some electricity at the scrum base with Tom Dearden and Chad Townsend at 6 and 7 ably represented out wide by the likes of Valentine Holmes.  

Jason Taumalolo is also set to have a big year among some heavy hitters in the forward pack.

Veteran Peta Hiku’s departure to Super League makes an opportunity for hopeful Zac Laybutt. 

Stalwart winger Kyle Feldt made a statement in the last trial match with (3) tries against the Canberra Raiders.

The Cowboys face a Dolphins team at a loss with key forward Tom Gilbert also out with an ACL injury. 

This is the predicted team line up:

  1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
  2. Jamayne Isaako
  3. Jake Averillo
  4. Herbie Farnworth
  5. Jack Bostock
  6. Kodi Nikorima
  7. Sean O’Sullivan
  8. Jesse Bromwich
  9. Jeremy Marshall-King
  10. Thomas Flegler
  11. Felise Kaufusi
  12. Euan Aitken
  13. Ray Stone
  14. Jarrod Wallace
  15. Max Plath
  16. Connelly Lemuelu
  17. Mark Nicholls

The Season Ahead

The draw favours the Cowboys this year, an NRL panel including retired English and St George Dragons prop James Graham summurised.

The team will spend more time in Sydney giving them exposure to the urgency an away gave can create and they have 16 games in Queensland.

The Cowboys need to start fast to take advantage of a good stretch of home games towards the end of the season said James Graham.

“So they can look to start really fast and then taper off if the season goes down and then really use that home ground advantage, especially later in the season when the heat starts to turn up a little bit. 

“They should be certainly look to use that to their advantage. Any team that can see something like that, no need to travel, ‘guys look, we’re going to work really hard in this opening period.’ 

“Super fit, maintain that and we can look to taper off and take advantage of that.”

The North Queensland franchise takes on Wayne Bennet’s Dolphins as the match-of- the-day this Sunday (10March) at 3:25pm.

Team members from Northern Stevedoring Services did their corporate and community duty and were represented at the season launch.

Scroll to Top