Before a ball was kicked this year, plenty of pundits expected to see both these teams entrenched in the top eight after 25 rounds.

The contrast in fortunes is amazing - the Tricolours are timing their premiership run to perfection, with the year can't end soon enough for the Cowboys. 

Match: Roosters v Cowboys

Round 21 -

Full Time
Roosters

Home Team

Roosters

Scored 26 points
Cowboys

Away Team

Cowboys

Scored 20 points

Venue: Allianz Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Fox League
  • Nine Network
  • LIVE PASS

Key match-up: Cooper Cronk v Johnathan Thurston. The long-term representative teammates with Queensland and Australia will square off against each other for the final time, with JT to retire on September 1. Neither will give an inch, with personal pride on the line.

For the Roosters to win: Feed Latrell Mitchell the Steeden. The 21-year-old has taken his game to another level post Origin, and was virtually unstoppable against the Dragons last start, crossing for a hat-trick. It followed his round 19 double versus the Sea Eagles at Lottoland.

For the Cowboys to win: Jake Clifford to continue the impressive start to his NRL career. Highly touted by good judges, the young gun didn't overplay his hand in the thrilling win over the Knights, and couldn't learn off a better halves partner than Thurston.

Roosters Stat Attack: Hooker Jake Friend has been a machine when his team is defending, setting the standard in the competition with 821 tackles. Teammate Blake Ferguson is arguably the form winger of the NRL, with 376 runs in 199 appearances.

Cowboys Stat Attack: Paul Green's men find themselves equal with the Roosters (219) when it comes to negative play. In another statistic which typifies their year, their handling error count (80) is top three in the competition.

And another thing: Roosters fans have been plotting their revenge for almost a year. Saturday, September 23 was the date, where the Cowboys shocked the Tricolours 29-16 in the preliminary final. Surely history won't repeat?

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Te Maire Martin
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell Mitchell
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Enari Tuala
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Kane Linnett
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Blake Ferguson
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Justin O'Neill
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Ryan Matterson
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Jake Clifford
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper Cronk
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Johnathan Thurston

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Matthew Scott
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake Friend
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Jake Granville
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Gavin Cooper
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Isaac Liu
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Coen Hess
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Dylan Napa
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Ben Hampton
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane Tetevano
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Shaun Fensom
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell Aubusson
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 John Asiata
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 20 Sean O'Sullivan
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Scott Bolton

Roosters: Sean O'Sullivan replaces Kurt Baptiste on the bench. Ryan Matterson moves to five-eighth for Luke Keary (knee) with Kurt Baptiste recalled on the bench, although halves Mitch Cornish and Sean O'Sullivan are also in the reserves. Dylan Napa (knee) returns on the bench in place of Lindsay Collins. 

Cowboys: The Cowboys are 1-17. Matt Scott starts at prop with John Asiata moving to the bench. 

Head-to-head: Played 36; Roosters 25 wins, Cowboys 11 wins

Previous result: Cowboys won 29-16 at Allianz Stadium in Finals Week 3, 2017
Points per game: 
Roosters 22.8; Cowboys 16.1
Points conceded per game: 
Roosters 14.8; Cowboys 21.3
Televised: 
Live on Nine, Fox League

Petero Civoniceva's prediction: It has to be the Roosters in this one. They're at home and they're the form team of the competition alongside the Storm. I can really see their push towards the finals picking up momentum and they're a team full of confidence at the moment and they're defending really well. It was a good bounce back by the Cowboys last week but it's been a nightmare of a season and I don't see them being in the same class as the Roosters.

Tip: Roosters by 12