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Johnathan Thurston

Cowboys

Cowboys
 
Cowboys

Justin Hodges

Broncos

The true value of Johnathan Thurston in attack is his ability to weigh up the options in front of him – and his favourite play ball comes left with runners in motion. This is where Thurston employs two main options. The first is to run a second-man play with Matt Bowen sweeping around the back in the hope of creating an overlap. However, should the defence over-read the play in an identical situation, Thurston will dummy and run himself.
Johnathan Thurston
 
Justin Hodges
A fit Justin Hodges is worth his weight in gold and that’s exactly what Brisbane got this season. The Australian Test centre enjoyed his first full pre-season in a decade and the Broncos reaped the benefits as he showed all of his trademark class and aggression during Brisbane’s early charge. He remains one of the NRL’s most prolific dummy-half runners and is lethal in one-on-one situations. Hodges ranks third in the comp for offloads (48) and has contributed 81 tackle busts out wide.
 
 

Second-man play

Friday 4th May

Dummy-half damage

Friday 16th March

Second-man play
Dummy-half damage

A favourite play of North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston is to attack down the blind side (he does exactly the same while playing for both Queensland and Australia) so it’s no surprise that the Cowboys have produced far more short-side plays than any other side in the NRL. Thurston and co. have attacked down the left on 189 occasions this season and 142 on the right for a total of 331 short-side plays – in total 50 more than any other side.

No player is as adept at easing the pressure on his forwards as Justin Hodges and his powerful dummy-half running is one of Brisbane’s great weapons. In fact, he has run from dummy-half more this season than any other outside back (133 times) and sits third overall behind hookers Issac Luke and Cameron Smith.

 
Round 15 Cowboys v Broncos

Round 15 Cowboys v Broncos

Friday 15th June

North Queensland produced a stellar defensive effort to keep Brisbane scoreless as they gritted their teeth to record a 12-0 win at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 15.Despite having four players backing up from State of Origin II just a few nights earlier – with Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin opting to rest all of his Origin stars except for Ben Hannant – the Cowboys kept their first clean sheet since 2005 to cement their spot in the top eight.

 
 
CowboysJohnathan Thurston
BroncosJustin Hodges