North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors
Saturday, July 22, 7:30pm (AEST) at 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
The Wolf loves his NRL and would love nothing better than to see Johnathan Thurston and Shaun Johnson go head-to-head here. Unfortunately for both of their respective sides, they won’t be taking the field in Townsville on Saturday night. Thurston’s replacement Te Maire Martin has made a strong start to his Cowboys career, while Mason Lino will attempt to fill the void left by Johnson. The Warriors lost seven straight, including four by more than 20 when the Warriors lost Shaun Johnson at the end of the 2014 season. It could be a tough finish to the season for the Warriors and the finals look beyond them now.
The Cowboys have won three straight against the Warriors with the last two being by margins of 34 and 28. Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt scored a double in last year’s 34-6 win in Townsville. North Queensland have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in Townsville against New Zealand with six of those wins being by margins of 20-plus.
North Queensland have defied the loss of Johnathan Thurston with five wins in their six games across the Origin period. The Cowboys have posted at least 20 in five of their last six while kept opponents to 12 or fewer in four of their last six. New Zealand are 11th on the ladder with a 7-10 record and have to fight the rest of the season without Shaun Johnson. The Warriors have dropped their last two and have conceded at least 26 in four of their last five away from Mt Smart. New Zealand have scored 21-plus in six straight.
Jake Granville v Issac Luke: Granville produced a career-best performance in last week’s win over the Rabbitohs. He scored a try and set up two others in a completely dominant performance by the Cowboys hooker. He’ll look to back it up this week and take advantage of any poor marker defence by the Warriors. It’s been an inconsistent season by Luke and he’ll be looking to finish the back end of the season strongly. The loss of Johnson will put more pressure on him, but he’s a world class player and it’s time for him to stand up.
Stats That Matter
– North Queensland are 13-4 ATS with an 11-6 under record while New Zealand are 7-10 ATS with a 9-8 over record.
– The Cowboys have won three straight against the Warriors with the last two being by margins of 34 and 28.
– North Queensland have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in Townsville against New Zealand with six of those wins being by margins of 20-plus.
– When the Warriors lost Shaun Johnson at the end of the 2014 season, the Warriors lost seven straight, including four by more than 20.
– The Cowboys have covered 19 of their last 33 games as a home favourite of more than a converted try.
– The Cowboys are 13-8 ATS at home after scoring 22 or more points.
– The Warriors have covered just 3 of their last 10 games away from Mt Smart.
– The Warriors are 10-16 ATS with a 17-9 under record away from Mt Smart at night, covering just 1 of their last 7.
– New Zealand are 10-2 under when a road underdog of 8 or more points.
– The Warriors have covered just 2 of their last 9 off a double digit loss.
The Wolf can’t see anything other than a comfortable Cowboys win. The Warriors won’t be able to overcome the massive loss of Shaun Johnson and have a terrible record in Townsville. Chips in Cows!
How It’s Shaping Up
North Queensland by 18
North Queensland -8.5 ($1.91)
Other Recommended Bets
North Queensland 13+ ($2.40)
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