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North Queensland Cowboys vs Sydney Roosters Predictions & Tips - Roosters to put on a score and cover

  • North Queensland Cowboys vs Sydney Roosters tips for Saturday's NRL Round 18 match
  • The match is being played at Queensland Country Bank Stadium (6.00am BST)
  • The Cowboys have conceded 160 points in their last 4 NRL games
  • The Roosters are tipped for a wide-margin win in Townsville
  • Match preview, predictions and latest team news
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Daniel Tupou is tipped for tries against the Cowboys (Getty Images)
Freetips staff 16 Jul 2021
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North Queensland Cowboys vs Sydney Roosters Predictions

The Cowboys defence has been different levels of atrocious this year. Only twice have they kept an opponent to less than 20 points. The Roosters have not been their usual high-flying selves with an oppressive injury toll, but they get the chance to fly in Townsville and record a big win. 

  • North Queensland Cowboys have lost their last 4 matches.
  • North Queensland Cowboys have lost 3 of their last 4 matches by 28+ points.
  • North Queensland Cowboys have conceded 160 points in their last 4 NRL games.
  • North Queensland Cowboys have conceded an average of just over 30 points a game in 2021.
  • Sydney Roosters won 30-16 when the sides met earlier this season.
  • Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has scored 7 tries in his last 9 games against the North Queensland Cowboys. 


There have been 40 games played between these outfits, with the Cowboys scoring just 12 wins to the Roosters' 28.

They have played 20 games in Queensland, with the Roosters dominating still with 14 wins. It’s been five years since the Cowboys last beat the Roosters in their home state.

North Queensland Form

The Cowboys opened their 2021 campaign with four losses, three of them very convincing. They then won six of their next eight games to get back on track as they crept into the top 8.

Then the losses returned with four straight defeats for the Cowboys during a horror last month. 

They were flogged by Manly Sea Eagles 50-18, pipped by the out-of-form Cronulla Sharks 26-24 and belted 38-0 by the Newcastle Knights.

North Queensland were then dispatched with ease by the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend 46-18, sending them down to 12th on the ladder.

North Queensland Team News

Origin star Valentine Holmes picked up a shoulder injury in Game 3 and is expected to miss this weekend's game having been named to back up.

Daejarn Asi will hold onto the full back role for another week if Holmes is ruled out.

Francis Molo returns this week and will start at prop, while Origin rookie Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will back-up at centre. 

Reuben Cotter, Ben Hampton and Heilum Luki are all set to be available next week after injuries.

North Queensland Team List

1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Connelly Lemuelu 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Tom Dearden 8. Francis Molo 9. Reece Robson 10. Jordan McLean 11. Shane Wright 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Coen Hess 17. Peter Hola 18. Lachlan Burr 19. Javid Bowen 20. Ben Condon 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Kane Bradley

Sydney Roosters Form

The Roosters got off to a red-hot start, smashing the hapless Manly side 46-4 and then their regular punching bags the Wests Tigers 40-6.

But injuries started to bite and some inconsistency crept into their performances. 

A 10-point loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 3 was followed up with two wins, then a 16-point loss to Melbourne Storm, two more wins and a 13-point loss to Parramatta Eels. 

The inconsistencies continued with a win over the Cowboys, a shock loss to the lowly Brisbane Broncos, a 28-point win over Canberra Raiders, a 35-34 win over the Gold Coast Titans and then back-to-back losses to ladder leaders Penrith Panthers and Melbourne Storm. 

Last weekend, the Roosters scored a hard fought 22-16 win over the last placed Canterbury Bulldogs.

Sydney Roosters Team News

The Roosters have Luke Keary, Lindsay Collins and now teenager Joseph Suaalii all ruled out for the year with injuries.

Jake Friend, Brett Morris and Boyd Cordner have all retired as a result of their respective injuries in what has been an absolute horror run of luck for the tricolours.

James Tedesco returns to fullback and Angus Crichton to the second row after their State of Origin duties on Wednesday night. 

Joey Manu returns to centre while Isaac Liu moves to prop to cover the loss of Siosiua Taukeiaho. Fletcher Baker is added to the bench, replacing Ben Thomas.

Sydney Roosters Team List

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Nat Butcher 16. Egan Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Ben Thomas 19. Billy Smith 20. Adam Keighran 21. Tukupa Hau Tapuha

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The Cowboys defence is a mess and the Roosters still know how to put on a score. Sydney to cover and win by 13+ is tipped. Daniel Tupou can continue his fine record against the Cowboys.

Best Bet: Roosters -8.5 Handicap @-109.89 at BetMGM - 3 Units
Value Bet: Roosters by 13+ Winning Margin @125.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit
First Tryscorer Tip: Daniel Tupou First Tryscorer @700.00 at Borgata Sports - 1 Unit

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