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The man the Broncos wanted to take over from Wayne Bennett faces an early-season acid test when the North Queensland Cowboys visit Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Anthony Seibold's men turned in a strong showing against the Storm but weren't good enough to get the job done. That has heaped even more pressure onto both him and his side as the Cowboys ride into town feeling pretty good about themselves.

Leading the charge for the team from Townsville will be a forward pack that enjoyed a great night in their round one win over the Dragons.

Another performance of that nature will give Michael Morgan all the time he needs to organise a side that looked as good as any in round one.

The Rundown

Team news

Broncos: The Broncos are 1-17 as named by Anthony Seibold on Tuesday. Matt Lodge (two-week suspension) is replaced by Tevita Pangai jnr at prop, while David Fifita starts in the second row with Jaydn Su'A back to the bench. Shaun Fensom is the new man on the interchange. Patrick Mago and Richie Kennar were omitted from the 21-man squad on Thursday night and Patrick Carrigan and Gehamat Shibasaki were cut an hour before kick-off.

Cowboys: As he did last week Paul Green has promoted Josh McGuire into the starting side after originally naming him on the bench. Coen Hess goes back to the bench. McGuire will play his 100th NRL game at Suncorp Stadium. Corey Jensen and Enari Tuala were cut 24 hours before kick-off. Ben Hampton and Jake Clifford were omitted an hour before the match

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Darius Boyd
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Jordan Kahu
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Nene Macdonald
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 James Roberts
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Justin O'Neill
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Jack Bird
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Tom Opacic
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Javid Bowen
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Te Maire Martin
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Kodi Nikorima
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Michael Morgan


  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Tevita Pangai Junior
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Matthew Scott
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Andrew McCullough
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Jake Granville
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Joe Ofahengaue
    Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Gavin Cooper
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 David Fifita
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 15 Josh McGuire
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Matt Gillett
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo


  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Kotoni Staggs
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 12 Coen Hess
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Jaydn Su'a
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 John Asiata
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Thomas Flegler
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Mitchell Dunn
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Shaun Fensom
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Francis Molo

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Referee: Gavin Badger
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Video Referee: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Kodi Nikorima surely must be relishing his battle with classy Cowboys halfback Michael Morgan. Morgan showed last week he is prepared to take ownership of his team following Johnathan Thurston's retirement, piloting the Cowboys to a solid win over the Dragons. Nikorima will have to be at the top of his game to get the better of Morgan.

For the Broncos to win

Kodi Nikorima needs to become an organiser. It is easier said than done, but if Seibold can add an organisational aspect to his game, happy days are ahead for the Broncos. Their young forwards are also facing a test against the star-studded North Queensland pack. If they hold their own, their backline can do the rest.

For the Cowboys to win

Get the ball to Taumalolo. Arguably the best ball-running forward in the game, Taumalolo started 2019 with a powerhouse display against the Dragons. The input of McLean, Matt Scott, Josh McGuire and Coen Hess set a great platform for the Tonga international. His performances are must-watch TV.

Brett Kimmorley says ...

The Broncos didn’t get off to the start they wanted against Melbourne. Let’s look for them to start faster this week. I still have some thoughts on Anthony Milford as a five-eighth. I’d love to see him just running the ball and forgetting about structure. The Cowboys had the wrecking ball in Jason Taumalolo last week. The key to stopping him is probably forcing him to make some tackles. That might slow him down. Broncos by 4

Broncos Stat Attack

Corey Oates enjoyed a great start to 2019 from a personal standpoint. He scored two tries and ran for 227m. Whether it be Kyle Feldt or Javid Bowen opposing him on Friday night, that man will need to be at his best.

Cowboys Stat Attack

While much was rightly made of the monster game Jason Taumalolo enjoyed against the Dragons, his fellow forwards also played strongly. The platform set by Josh McGuire (154m), Jordan McLean (141m), John Asiata (112m) and Matt Scott (97m in just 28 minutes) proved invaluable. If that continues this season Paul Green's men will be very hard to beat.


Played 50, Brisbane 32, North Queensland 16, drawn 2

At Suncorp Stadium

Played 15, Brisbane 10, North Queensland 5

And another thing ...

Josh McGuire is never short of advice for opposition players. It will be interesting to see what he has to say to his former teammates when he plays on Suncorp Stadium as a member of the visiting team for the first time. McGuire is much more than just a niggler, he's also a middle forward who gets through a mountain of hard work each week.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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