NRL grand final North Queensland penpix

HOW NORTH QUEENSLAND STACK UP FOR THE 2015 NRL GRAND FINAL:

LACHLAN COOTE – fullback

Age: 25

NRL games: 108

Grand finals: 0

Johnathan Thurston may ignite most of North Queensland’s spark, but Coote will also be reliable for creating opportunities. Has set up 16 tries and 19 line-breaks this season.

KYLE FELDT – wing

Age: 23

NRL games: 21

Grand finals: 0

Missed a relatively simple goal to win the under-20s in 2011 for the Cowboys and will want to extract revenge when he replaces Thurston as goal-kicker. Has a robust frame and is solid in defence.

JUSTIN O’NEILL – centre

Age: 24

NRL games: 92

Grand finals: 1

Brings experience into the decider as one of four Cowboys players to have played in a grand final – with Melbourne in 2012. Enters the match in form, having scored three tries in the past two weeks.

KANE LINNETT – centre

Age: 26

NRL games: 124

Grand finals: 1

Has been to the big dance before, as part of the 2010 losing Sydney Roosters team. Could present problems for Brisbane’s edge defenders as his 100kg frame has busted through 59 would-be tacklers this year.

ANTONIO WINTERSTEIN – wing

Age: 27

NRL games: 154

Grand finals: 0

One of three ex-Broncos coming up against his old side for the Cowboys. His speed has made him a go-to man for the Cowboys, crossing for a career-best 16 tries this season.

MICHAEL MORGAN – five-eighth

Age: 23

NRL games: 79

Grand finals: 0

Has proven to be the perfect foil for Thurston. A season at fullback in 2014 has him playing far more direct and could leave Brisbane defenders second-guessing his next move at the line.

JOHNATHAN THURSTON – halfback

Age: 32

NRL games: 267

Grand finals: 2

Is he the greatest ever playmaker to have pulled on a rugby league jersey? His record four Dally Ms and 37 try assists this season would suggest so. The fate of the premiership is very much in his hands.

MATT SCOTT – prop

Age: 30

NRL games: 207

Grand finals: 0

His hulking frame could present an issue for the relatively small Brisbane forward pack. Along with James Tamou he forms an all-Australian front-row and is showing no signs of slowing down this year despite being on the wrong side of 30.

JAKE GRANVILLE – hooker

Age: 26

NRL games: 37

Grand finals: 0

Has been a revelation since following Paul Green to North Queensland from Brisbane this year. Has the potential to break the game wide open with his darts out of dummy-half providing the perfect momentum for Thurston and co.

JAMES TAMOU – prop

Age: 26

NRL games: 144

Grand finals: 0

The battle of the forwards could decide this match and Tamou is back to his best after recovering from a neck injury. Dominated the Brisbane pack to run 204m when the teams met in round 10.

GAVIN COOPER – second row

Age: 30

NRL games: 209

Grand finals: 0

An unsung hero of the Cowboys side. Runs great angles on the left-edge and will look to add to his 11 tries this season by running off the back of Thurston close to the line.

ETHAN LOWE – second row

Age: 24

NRL games: 39

Grand finals: 0

You know what you’ll get with Ethan Lowe – he’ll just turn up in defence all day. He’s nothing flashy but is representative of the side’s defensive resolve this year.

JAMES TAUMALOLO – lock

Age: 22

NRL games: 85

Grand finals: 0

Compared to Sonny Bill Williams, a dynamic ball-runner and a real danger man blessed with speed, size and footwork. Will come into his own in the second half against a tiring Brisbane pack.

RORY KOSTJASYN – utility

Age: 28

NRL games: 99

Grand finals: 0

Started round one as the side’s first-choice hooker but has been usurped by Granville. Will look to inject some energy coming off the bench.

JOHN ASIATA – forward

Age: 22

NRL games: 30

Grand finals: 0

A young forward still learning his trade, seen as a long-term prospect by the Cowboys. Will continue to be solid and relatively error-free coming off the bench, as he has been all season.

SCOTT BOLTON – forward

Age: 28

NRL games: 150

Grand finals: 0

Sidelined for seven weeks during the year after a fishing mishap in which he sliced his finger open. Befits the Cowboys bench-player mould of a no frills, no nonsense forward.

BEN HANNANT – prop

Age: 30

NRL games: 220

Grand finals: 1

Unwanted at Brisbane under Wayne Bennett, has given the Cowboys real depth and punch off the bench. Hits the decider in form, averaging 146 running metres in his past six matches.

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