The North Queensland Cowboys host the St George Illawarra Dragons to close out Round 17 of the NRL season on Sunday. The Cowboys have lost nine straight games to languish in 14th position on the ladder, while the Dragons are in 10th position.
North Queensland Cowboys Form
The Cowboys have had one of the worst seasons in their history, as they fight to avoid a 10th straight loss. The Cowboys were no match for the Cronulla Sharks last weekend going down 28-12.
North Queensland Cowboys Team News
Interim coach Josh Hannay has been forced to implement mass changes after losing Michael Morgan (calf) and Coen Hess (suspended) following the game.
Jake Clifford returns at half-back for Morgan, Scott Drinkwater moves to five-eighth following the return of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to the wing, and Valentine Holmes is back to fullback.
Gavin Cooper replaces Hess in the second-row and Esan Masters has been recalled at centre replacing Connelly Lemuelu.
The Cowboys team for Sunday can be found below:
1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O'Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Josh McGuire 14. Daejarn Asi 15. John Asiata 16. Tom Gilbert 17. Corey Jensen 18. Shane Wright 19. Jake Granville 20. Peter Hola 21. Ben Hampton
St George Illawarra Dragons Form
The Dragons snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last weekend against the Titans, conceding two tries in the final six minutes to go down 14-10.
Interim coach Dean Pay will be looking to return to the winners circle this weekend as the battle for the long-term coaches position at the Dragons heats up.
St George Illawarra Dragons Team News
Tyrell Fuimoano returns from suspension on the bench for Trent Merrin, while Billy Brittain must pass HIA protocols if he is to take his spot in the side.
Ben Hunt will step out for his 250th career appearance.
The Dragons team list for Sunday can be found below:
1. Matthew Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Kerr 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Billy Brittain 15. Jackson Ford 16. Tyrell Fuimaono 17. Kaide Ellis 18. Eddie Blacker 19. Tristan Sailor 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Max Feagai
North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons Head To Head
The two sides can’t be split after 32 head-to-head matches, with each team registering 16 wins apiece.
The last time the two sides met was in June 2019, where the Dragons ran away 22-14 winners.
North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons Betting Odds
The Dragons are favourites to win the match at 1.62 and inflict more pain upon the struggling Cowboys, who are 2.30 to end the run of defeats. The line has been set at +3.5 for North Queensland.
North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons Match Up
Matt Dufty is one of the most electric players in the game, and comes up against former Queensland Origin player Valentine Holmes in the opposing number one.
Since returning to the NRL after having a crack at the NFL, Holmes has been underwhelming to say the least. Boasting one of the games best running games at the time, Holmes was electrifying with each touch of the ball before leaving the game.
With club stars out of the side including Michael Morgan and Jason Taumalolo, Holmes must stand up and find his running game if the Cowboys are any chance.
North Queensland Cowboys vs St George Illawarra Dragons Key Stats
- The Cowboys have lost their last 9 matches.
- The Cowboys haven’t won a match at home in their last 4 games.
- The Cowboys have only won 1 home game this season.
- The Cowboys (75% and Dragons (81%) have two of the worst completion rates this season.