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The Cowboys are riding a five-game winning streak and will relish the opportunity to make a statement against one of the heavyweights of the competition on Saturday night.

With Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden clicking in the halves, Murray Taulagi and Val Holmes on fire out wide, and Reuben Cotter playing out of his skin up front, North Queensland look every bit a premiership contender - a remarkable turnaround for a side that finished 15th in 2021.

The Storm did it tough without Ryan Papenhuyzen and Jahrome Hughes against the Panthers but Craig Bellamy's men rarely put two below-par performances back-to-back so Todd Payten's men need to be on high alert.

The 'house full' sign is expected to be posted at Queensland Country Stadium as the Townsville faithful get behind their team's bid to make it six in a row and catapult a number of their stars into the Maroons team for Origin One.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Cowboys v Storm

The Rundown

Team news

Cowboys: Coen Hess has come into the starting side an hour before kick-off with Reuben Cotter shifting to the bench. Connelly Lemuelu is 18th man. The Cowboys can stake their claim as a genuine premiership threat if they can extend their winning run to six games in a row with victory over the Storm.

Storm: Craig Bellamy has shuffled his backline on game day with Harry Grant moving to halfback and Nick Meaney to fullback and Tyran Wishart to the bench. Tui Kamikamica will start at prop for the injured Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Brandon Smith goes to hooker. Chris Lewis has joined the bench.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
    Fullback for Storm is number 2 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Storm is number 15 Dean Ieremia
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant

Forwards

  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Storm is number 10 Brandon Smith
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 16 Coen Hess
    Prop for Storm is number 17 Tui Kamikamica
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King

Interchange

  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben Cotter
    Interchange for Storm is number 1 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Trent Loiero
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
    Interchange for Storm is number 18 Chris Lewis

Reserves

  • Replacement for Cowboys is number 20 Connelly Lemuelu
    Replacement for Storm is number 21 Jordan Grant

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

Last updated:

Key match-up

Tom Dearden v Cameron Munster: The Cowboys No.6 has grown in confidence with each passing week and is loving life in the halves alongside the ice cool Chad Townsend. With the veteran controlling the tempo, Dearden has been free to play what he sees and the results have been stunning for the Cowboys. Munster has been out of this world in a couple of the Storm's big wins, most notably against the Warriors on ANZAC Day where he had three try assists and seven tackle breaks, and round nine against the Dragons when he busted the line three times and had six tackle breaks.

Stat Attack

Since these sides met in the 2017 grand final they have clashed on six  occasions with the Storm winning all six. The average winning margin across the six games has been eight points.

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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