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A stirring 28-point win over the Bulldogs has propelled the Titans from 11th spot into the top eight - and they have every intention of staying there.

They remain Queensland's only hope of having a team in the 2021 finals race but that's not going to draw any empathy from the Cowboys in this intrastate derby.

Todd Payten's men are facing an eighth straight defeat if they cannot lift against their southern cousins. 

The last three losses haven't been savage - 16 points to the Roosters, four to the Storm and 19 to the Broncos. But it's been enough to snuff out their hopes of a top-eight finish. 

Meanwhile, the Titans missed the finals by one spot in 2020. Their last campaign was back in 2016 and they're not willing to let 2021 get away from them.

The rundown

Team news

Titans: In a repeat of previous weeks, the Titans announced an hour before kick-off that Beau Fermor will start the match and David Fifita will be on the interchange bench.

Apart from that, the Titans are 1-17 with Esan Marsters the 18th man.

Jamal Fogarty (finger) was a chance of returning will now look at a round 22 return.

Erin Clark (elbow) is good to go and Patrick Herbert returns from suspension.

Sam McIntyre and Anthony Don dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off.

The Titans are aiming for two wins in a season against the Cowboys for the first time since 2012.

Cowboys: North Queensland will start 1-17 with Daejarn Asi the 18th man.

Valentine Holmes (shoulder) returns at fullback and coach Todd Payten said the Maroons winger will play through the pain barrier for the remainder of the year.

With winger Kane Bradley (fractured hand) set to miss the remainder of the season Ben Hampton goes from the interchange to the centres and Murray Taulagi shifts to the wing.

Jason Taumalolo shifts to the second row in a tactical decision Payten hopes creates more space.

Francis Molo and Peter Hola were omitted from the extended bench on Saturday.

Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt has scored five tries in his past six games.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine Holmes
  • Winger for Titans is number 2 Greg Marzhew
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Connelly Lemuelu
  • Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Ben Hampton
  • Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley Taylor
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
  • Halfback for Titans is number 7 Toby Sexton
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Tom Dearden

Forwards

  • Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Tom Gilbert
  • Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Titans is number 10 Moeaki Fotuaika
    Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Jason Taumalolo
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 16 Beau Fermor
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Heilum Luki
  • Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Coen Hess

Interchange

  • Interchange for Titans is number 12 David Fifita
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Mitchell Dunn
  • Interchange for Titans is number 14 Erin Clark
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Ben Condon
  • Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam Lisone
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Lachlan Burr
  • Interchange for Titans is number 17 Jaimin Jolliffe
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Jake Granville

Reserves

  • Reserve for Titans is number 18 Esan Marsters
    Reserve for Cowboys is number 19 Daejarn Asi

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Moeaki Fotuaika v Jordan McLean: Fotuaika can now count himself among the game's best props. If the Cowboys are to end their losing streak, McLean needs to take on the Titans forward leader. If not the likes of David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui will come into their own.

Stat attack

The Cowboys’ defence has been one of the main reasons for their losing record this year. They’ve missed 35.5 tackles per game, only Cronulla have a worse record, and North Queensland racked up 41 in last week’s loss to Brisbane.

 

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