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Sydney Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys
Saturday, July 29, 7:30pm (AEST) at Allianz Stadium, Sydney

The second-placed Roosters host the fifth-placed Cowboys in the match of the round. Roosters and NSW skipper Boyd Cordner is still on the sidelines alongside Jake Friend and Michael Gordon, while the Cowboys continue to get the job done minus Johnathan Thurston.

The Roosters have won four of their last six against the Cowboys, while the last three matches have all tallied 40 points or fewer.

The Roosters are second on the table with a 13-5 record following their comfortable win over Newcastle on Friday. The Roosters have now won seven of their last nine matches. Trent Robinson’s team rank fourth in defence and sixth in attack. North Queensland are fifth on the ladder with a 12-6 record. They have the third best defence in the premiership to go with the ninth rated attack. North Queensland have now won four on the trot and six of their last seven. The Cowboys have scored at least 21 points in eight of their nine games away from Townsville this year.

Key Matchup
Mitchell Pearce v Michael Morgan: Pearce will be looking to put another disappointing Origin campaign behind him and guide the Roosters to a grand final victory. He was one of the Roosters’ best in last week’s win over the Knights, with two try assists and two line-break assists. The Roosters spine is missing Michael Gordon and Jake Friend and it’s up to Pearce and halves partner Luke Keary to fill the void. Morgan has been very quiet in the Cowboys last two victories over the Rabbitohs and Cowboys. If the Cowboys are any hope in September, Morgan needs to be the most influential player on the field like the great JT. This is a huge match for the Cowboys Top 4 hopes and Morgan needs to shine.

Stats That Matter
– Sydney Roosters are 9-9 ATS with a 10-8 under record while North Queensland are 14-4 ATS with a 12-6 under record.

– The Roosters have won four of their last six against the Cowboys.

– The Roosters have won eight of the last 10 against the Cowboys at Allianz.

– The last three matches have all tallied 40 points or fewer.

– Interstate underdogs of 3.5 or less are 49-20 ATS since 2014.

– The Cowboys are 16-7 ATS as an interstate underdog since 2014 and have covered 14 of 18 games this year.

Final Thoughts
The Wolf thinks the understrength Roosters might be there for the plucking this week, missing key personnel in Boyd Cordner, Michael Gordon and Jake Friend. The Cowboys will keep things simple and are an impressive 14-4 ATS this season. The Wolf says to back them with the +4 start and also take the unders.

How It’s Shaping Up
North Queensland by 2

Best Bet
North Queensland +4 ($1.91)

Other Recommended Bets
Under 38.5 ($1.88)

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