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Matthew Bowen

Kevin Locke

North Queensland Cowboys Cowboys
Warriors  
2012 Stats
Tries:
13
Linebreaks:
20
L/B Assists:
19
Try Assists:
27
Offloads:
11

Age: 32

Height: 175cm

Weight: 85kg

Matthew Bowen
2012 Stats
Tries:
7
Linebreaks:
5
L/B Assists:
3
Try Assists:
4
Offloads:
8

Age: 25

Height: 175cm

Weight: 85kg

Kevin Locke
vs

Bowen has been the backbone of the Cowboy team for years and this season he has continued to bewilder the opposition with his natural skill and flair. Can the star fullback bring the Cowboys back into the winners circle?

A loss to the Sharks has put the Warriors four points out of finals contention so a win here against Bowen and the Cowboys is required to keep the calendar busy for September. It is not often Locke gets to lace up against someone his own size.

Chris Sandow

Mitchell Pearce

Parramatta Eels Eels
Sydney Roosters
2012 Stats
Tackles:
314
Missed Tackles:
127
Linebreaks:
9
Breaks Tackle:
49
Errors:
21

Age: 25

Height: 173cm

Weight: 80kg

Chris Sandow
2012 Stats
Tackles:
428
Missed Tackles:
84
Linebreaks:
8
Breaks Tackle:
37
Errors:
24

Age: 25

Height: 183cm

Weight: 90kg

Mitchell Pearce
vs

If the game was just 30 minutes long the Eels would be a super team to support but keeping that pace for a full 80 has proven a difficult task for Parramatta. With the finals out of reach this one is all about pride for Sandow.

He showed a Soward-less Dragons outfit why he deserved to be in the Blues team but backing up his performance against the Eels will be just as important. Can mighty Mitch deliver a knockout blow to the Eels’ hopes of missing the wooden spoon?

Darius Boyd

Akuila Uate

Newcastle Knights Knights
Newcastle Knights Knights
2012 Stats
Breaks Tackle:
88
Linebreaks:
9
Tries:
3
Missed Tackles:
23
Try Assists:
12

Age: 27

Height: 185cm

Weight: 96kg

Darius Boyd
2012 Stats
Breaks Tackle:
110
Linebreaks:
25
Tries:
18
Missed Tackles:
19
Try Assists:
1

Age: 26

Height: 187cm

Weight: 96kg

Akuila Uate
vs

With just one try to his name in Knights colours Boyd has had to rely on setting up his teammates to keep his stats column looking good. Does a healthy 10 try assists make up for a shortfall in four-pointers or does Darius need to deliver more points?

Akuila’s double against the Dogs was his fourth two-try performance of the season and took his overall tally to 16 tries. Is Uate’s ability to cross the white line a bigger benefit to the Knights than Boyd’s helping hand?

 

Wests Tigers

 

St George-Illawarra Dragons

Dragons

Coach: Tim Sheens
Coach: Steve Price
2012 Club Stats
Tries:
89
Goals:
73
Tackles:
7537
Missed Tackles:
864
Linebreaks:
100
L/B Assists:
66
2012 Club Stats
Tries:
74
Goals:
53
Tackles:
7821
Missed Tackles:
679
Linebreaks:
98
L/B Assists:
67
vs

A six-try second half against the slippery Eels has helped the Tigers step above the Dragons in the fight for the final place in the top eight, but the masters of mayhem will need to keep winning if they are serious about September football.

Dropping a game to the lower-placed Roosters could be costly to the Dragons’ finals cause and coach Price will need to rally the red V troops if he wants to outgun the freakish Tigers. It is all on the line this week for the Dragons... can they deliver?

Penrith Panthers

Panthers

Canberra Raiders

Raiders

Coach: Ivan Cleary
Coach: David Furner
2012 Club Stats
Wins:
8
Losses:
16
Points For:
409
Points Against:
575
Points Difference:
-166
Comp Points:
20
2012 Club Stats
Wins:
13
Losses:
11
Points For:
545
Points Against:
536
Points Difference:
9
Comp Points:
30
vs

A wooden spoon is not a good look for a coach in his first season, especially after making a grand final appearance last season with his previous team. Coach Cleary will be desperate for his Panthers to claw through the Raiders and steer clear of the cooking utensil.

Pretending their home game was an away game was a brilliant masterstroke from Canberra coach Furner and it helped the Raiders deliver the Broncos their third straight loss. Can the mind games work for the Raiders at a real away game?

 

Bulldogs forward pack

Broncos forward pack

vs
Tuesday 7th August
Tuesday 7th August

The Bulldogs pack is as big as them come with passing skills that are as good as their halves. Can the Bulldogs keep the momentum from 10 straight victories and put more pressure on an under-performing Broncos pack?

The Broncos engine room has been one of the most dominant for the last decade but in big Petero’s last season the petrol seems to be running out. Can the Brisbane forwards find the form they had at the start of the season and deliver Des a rare defeat?

Rookie on a roll?

Second year syndrome?

vs
Tuesday 7th August
Tuesday 7th August

A top-four finish is not bad for a rookie playmaker but the yardstick for rookies is now pretty high thanks to Cherry-Evans and his whirlwind 2011 where he swept aside the competition to claim the premiership. Will 2012 see another rookie revelation?

While his team is still in the top four it is hard to tag this Sea Eagle with having the dreaded second year syndrome, but considering he delivered the silvertails a premiership in his first outing it will be tough to take anything less this season from DCE.

 
 
 
 
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The views in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the clubs or the NRL.