Saturday’s (05/09/2015) third NRL 2015 Round 26 match is between Nth Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans. The opening bounce is set to commence at 17:35 local time with the game to be played at 1300SMILES Stadium. The home team Nth Queensland Cowboys are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Nth Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans.
When: 19:35 | Saturday 05/09/2015
Where: 1300SMILES Stadium
Tip: Nth Queensland Cowboys at $1.17
Value Tip: First Tryscorer: Kyle Feldt at $8.00
1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Ray Thompson 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Matthew Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Rory Kostjasyn 15. John Asiata 16. Scott Bolton 17. Ben Hannant 18. Ben Spina.
1. Josh Hoffman 2. David Mead 3. James Roberts 4. Brad Tighe 5. Nene Macdonald 6. Daniel Mortimer 7. Kane Elgey 8. Luke Douglas 9. Beau Falloon 10. Ryan James 11. Agnatius Paasi 12. Dave Taylor 13. Lachlan Burr. Interchange:14. Matt White 5. Edward Pettybourne 16. Nathaniel Peteru 17. Kierran Moseley 18. Kalifa Faifai Loa 19. Matt Robinson 20. Levi Li.
North Queensland are set to hand new playmaker Ray Thompson another chance to impress despite his lack of impact in their disappointing loss to Melbourne.
The Cowboys held on to third place on the NRL ladder following the 14-6 defeat but were outclassed by Storm from the opening whistle.
North Queensland’s first choice five-eighth Michael Morgan suffered an ankle sprain in their win over the Warriors last round and could miss the remainder of the season.
Without Morgan, the Cowboys attack lacked spark and Thompson, who was playing his first game in nearly two months, had little impact.
North Queensland didn’t score a try until the 79th minute.
Thompson has played just six NRL games this season, spending the majority of the year with the Townsville Blackhawks and North Queensland coach Paul Green said he would be better for the hit-out.
“The more time he (Thompson) spends there, the better he gets at it and the more comfortable he feels,” Green said.
“He can probably get himself a little bit more involved but first week back in the team in a key position, that takes a bit of time.”
Green’s other option for their game on Saturday night against Gold Coast is Robert Lui, with utility Rory Kostjaysn in doubt for the match after taking a heavy head knock just after half-time.
Second-rower Ethan Lowe also suffered a corked thigh.
Skipper Johnathan Thurston admitted the Cowboys’ attack, usually their greatest weapon, was below par.
“It was probably 10 per cent off but you’ve got to give credit to the Storm because they defended extremely well,” Thurston said.
“We can still take a lot of positives out of the game but we need to be better as well.”
Thurston said the inconsistent Storm, who are now fifth on the ladder, were still a threat for the title.
“Any team that has Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk and also one of the best front-rowers going around in Jesse Bromwich, you’re always a premiership threat,” he said.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change