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Even the most ardent Cowboys fan couldn't have predicted the blistering display their team produced against Brisbane but it's exactly the sort of win that can kick start a season.

After scoring just one try in their season opener against the Bulldogs, North Queensland have piled on 10 in the next two games, including four to gun back-rower Jeremiah Nanai.

With their kicking game on song and their speed men combining well out wide, the Cowboys were far too slick for Brisbane and they'll need to be on song again if they're to down one of the benchmark sides of the past decade.

The Roosters will be smarting after their loss to the Rabbitohs and the likes of James Tedesco and Luke Keary will be out to make amends at a ground where they won convincingly 34-18 in round 18 last year.

The Rundown

Team news

Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo has been switched to prop an hour before kick-off with Jamayne Taunoa-Brown shifting to the bench in his return from a knee injury suffered in round one. Reuben Cotter comes into the starting side at lock.

Coen Hess succumbed to a shoulder injury sustained at Suncorp Stadium last weekend. Scans showed no structural damage and Hess was initially named but he dropped out of the 19-man squad named 24 hours before kick-off.

Roosters: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Drew Hutchison have come into the starting side an hour before kick-off with Lindsay Collins and Connor Watson reverting to the bench.

Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama will make his NRL return on the wing after replacing Billy Smith in the team named 24 hours before the match. The only other change for the Roosters from last weekend's loss to South Sydney is the inclusion of Daniel Suluka-Fifita on the bench in place of Fletcher Baker. Coach Trent Robinson will miss the trip to Townsville after testing positive to COVID. Joseph Suaalii has not been named.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul Momirovski
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Roosters is number 22 Kevin Naiqama
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
    Prop for Roosters is number 17 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Nat Butcher
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 16 Reuben Cotter
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
    Interchange for Roosters is number 8 Lindsay Collins
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
    Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Connor Watson
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 18 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Angus Crichton

Reserves

  • Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Scott Drinkwater
    Replacement for Roosters is number 20 Lachlan Lam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Tom Dearden v Sam Walker: The Cowboys No.6 enioyed a day out against the Broncos with three try assists, two tackle breaks, two line break assists and a try for good measure. The steady hand of Chad Townsend at halfback is giving Dearden the chance to be more expansive and take some chances and he came of age on Sunday with a five-star performance. Walker had 84 running metres and eight tackle breaks against the Rabbitohs as he looks to settle in to his season and keep the second-year blues at bay.

Stat attack

The Roosters have won their past three clashes against the Cowboys, piling on 106 points in the process and conceding just 50. 

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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