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The Raiders and Cowboys both sit 2-3 after five games and are yet to settle into a groove or find their rhythm.

Such are the vagaries of the draw that they are meeting for the second time inside the first six weeks, the Cowboys proving far too strong in Townsville in round two.

The Cowboys are coming off a golden point heartbreaker against the Warriors while the Raiders were run ragged by a potent Storm outfit 30-16, the fourth game in a row they have conceded more than 20 points.

Defence is sure to be a key focus for Ricky Stuart this week as the Raiders look to put the clamps on a dangerous Cowboys side capable of producing some scintillating attack on their day.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Raiders v Cowboys

The Rundown

Team news

Raiders: Xavier Savage has been added to the bench for his first game of the season and Matt Frawley drops out. Centre Matt Timoko has been named despite copping a knee to the back against the Storm. Sebastian Kris is listed at 18th man and could come into calculations if Timoko fails to come up.

Cowboys: Coen Hess (shoulder) has been named to return at prop so Reuben Cotter goes back to the bench. Connelly Lemuelu is the other new face on the bench. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and Griffin Neame will miss the match due to concussion protocols. No changes to the squad in the 24-hour update on Wednesday,

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
  • Winger for Raiders is number 2 Nick Cotric
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
  • Centre for Raiders is number 4 Semi Valemei
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
  • Winger for Raiders is number 5 Jordan Rapana
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
  • Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Brad Schneider
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend

Forwards

  • Prop for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
    Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Coen Hess
  • Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
    Prop for Cowboys is number 16 Reuben Cotter
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Corey Harawira-Naera
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
  • 2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Elliott Whitehead
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
  • Lock for Raiders is number 13 Ryan Sutton
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Xavier Savage
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Adam Elliott
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
  • Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Horsburgh
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Connelly Lemuelu

Reserves

  • Replacement for Raiders is number 18 Sebastian Kris
    Replacement for Cowboys is number 23 Ben Hampton

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Key match-up

Josh Papalii v Jason Taumalolo: Regardless of the number on their back these two giants are sure to meet head on in the middle of the park at some stage in a battle for supremacy. Taumalolo was immense for the Cowboys in their narrow loss to the Warriors, running for 199 metres from 17 carries in 63 minutes of high quality and high intensity. Papalii was well contained by the Storm and will be keen to increase his output and his influence in a match the Green Machine will enter as favourites on home turf.

Stat attack

The Raiders lost five games by eight points or less last season, including a 26-24 defeat at the hands of the Cowboys in round seven when they gave up an 18-point lead.

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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