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One team is riding a two-match winning streak and the other has issues that need to be resolved.

Two weeks ago you'd have the Raiders as the former team and the Cowboys as the latter but not anymore.

North Queensland's wins did come against strugglers Wests Tigers and Canterbury, but they are four competition points that the Cowboys will gladly keep.

The Raiders' losses to Penrith and Parramatta came against a higher standard of opposition but have left coach Ricky Stuart an unhappy man. He'll be expecting a return to the winner's list.

Cowboys v Raiders

The rundown

Team news

Cowboys: The Cowboys will line up 1-17 as named.

Jason Taumalolo is still sidelined by a hand injury but the club is hopeful he can return in round eight.

Taumalolo, who hasn't played since round one, had his comeback from an injury to his other hand aborted when he suffered another training accident.

Peter Hola and Jake Clifford were left out 24 hours before the match. Tom Gilbert was omitted an hour before kick-off and Esan Marsters is 18th man.

The Cowboys have scored 64 points in their past two games.

Raiders: Corey Harawira-Naera has come into the starting side and Hudson Young goes to the bench.

Co-captain Josh Hodgson is out with a calf injury, replaced by young gun Tom Starling at hooker, while a number of other forwards appear to have paid the price for last week's heavy loss to Parramatta.

Prop Josh Papalii has been dropped to the interchange with Ryan James returning at prop after missing a week with Ryan Sutton sliding back from the front row to lock and Emre Guler promoted from the bench to partner James.

After initially being dropped to the reserves list, Joe Tapine was left out altogether 24 hours before kick-off. Matt Frawley was the other player omitted on the eve of the game.

Corey Horsburgh comes onto the bench for his first game of the season with Sia Soliola dropping from the interchange to be 18th man.

Sebastian Kris has comes on to the wing for Bailey Simonsson who failed a HIA last weekend.

Forward Siliva Havili will play his 100th NRL game.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine Holmes
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Caleb Aekins
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Sebastian Kris
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Justin O'Neill
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Jarrod Croker
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Connelly Lemuelu
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Curtis Scott
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Ben Hampton
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 George Williams

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Coen Hess
    Prop for Raiders is number 8 Ryan James
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 20 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Emre Guler
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Ben Condon
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 15 Corey Harawira-Naera
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Lachlan Burr
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Ryan Sutton

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
    Interchange for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Mitchell Dunn
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Siliva Havili
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Francis Molo
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Corey Horsburgh
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Corey Jensen
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Josh Papalii

Reserves

  • Reserve for Cowboys is number 18 Esan Marsters
    Reserve for Raiders is number 18 Iosia Soliola

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Dave Munro
  • Touch Judge: Nick Morel
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jordan McLean v Josh Papali'i: With Josh McGuire gone, McLean is now the undoubted leader of the North Queensland forward pack. He needs to show the way against the Raiders side led by Papali'i. Big Papa, a proven performer at the highest level, has been relegated to the bench but is still likely to play big minutes given Canberra's habit of rotating their middles.

Stat attack

The Raiders have conceded 11 tries in their past two matches and been outscored 35-4 in the second half of those fixtures.

 

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