Saturday’s (04/07/2015) only NRL 2015 Round 17 match is between St George Illawarra Dragons and Nth Queensland Cowboys. The opening bounce is set to commence at 19:30 local time with the game to be played at WIN Stadium. The home team St George Illawarra Dragons are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between St George Illawarra Dragons and Nth Queensland Cowboys.
When: 19:30 | Saturday 04/07/2015
Where: WIN Stadium
Tip: St George Illawarra Dragons at $1.67
Value Tip: First Tryscorer: Matthew Wright at $11.00
1 Jason Nightingale 2 Yaw Kiti Glymin 3 Euan Aitken 4 Peter Mata’utia 5 Eto Nabuli 6 Gareth Widdop 7 Benji Marshall 8 Leeson Ah Mau 9 Mitch Rein 10 Ben Creagh 11 Will Matthews 12 Jacob Marketo 13 Michael Cooper. Interchange: Nathan Green 15 George Rose 16 Rory O’Brien 17 Heath L’Estrange 18 Craig Garvey.
1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Ray Thompson, 7 Robert Lui, 8 Ben Hannant, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Sam Hoare, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Ethan Lowe, 13 Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14 Rory Kostjasyn, 15 John Asiata, 16 Scott Bolton, 17 Patrick Kaufusi, 18 Glenn Hall 20. Ben Spina.
The winning streak might be over, but North Queensland coach Paul Green remains confident his young charges can steer the club through the last hurdle in the gruelling State of Origin period.
After leading 18-0, the Cowboys fell 24-18 to Cronulla on Saturday night and faced the tough assignment of next playing third-placed St George Illawarra next week in Wollongong.
The Cowboys will go into the match without co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott as well as NSW prop James Tamou. Michael Morgan is also expected to retain his place on the Queensland bench.
In contrast, the Dragons will only lose Trent Merrin, although Tyson Frizell might earn a Blues call-up if Newcastle’s Beau Scott cannot recover from injury.
The Dragons boast an England/New Zealand halves pairing in Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall, while the Cowboys will be without both first-choice playmakers.
Against the Sharks, the Cowboys elevated three young players in Cameron King, John Asiata and Patrick Kaufusi.
Despite the loss, Green said the players would be better for the run and ready to lift against the Dragons to keep the Cowboys’ top-two hopes alive.
“Patty, I thought he did pretty well for his debut,” he said.
“It was certainly a good learning curve for him about what playing NRL is like.
“The Saints are tough – all the games are tough.
“We’ll have a look at the game, dust ourselves off and get back into it.”
Scott said seeing young players like Sam Hoare coming through the ranks gave the club confidence.
“It’s great to see these guys come through the system,” he said.
“Patty has been there for a while now, so has Hoarey.
“It’s great to see that they get a bit of an opportunity and I think they have all played really well.”
The Cowboys could have another headache, though, with in-form hooker Jake Granville on report for a crusher tackle on Sharks back Sosaia Feki.
He will learn his fate on Monday when the Match Review Committee releases its charge sheet.
“It was a bit of an awkward looking tackle, but I don’t think there was anything in it,” Green said.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change