North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders Saturday, April 28, 7:30pm (AEST) 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
The Cowboys finally returned to the winner’s circle, breaking a five-match losing streak by defeating the Titans 26-14. Meanwhile, the Raiders will be looking to bounce back after they were blown off the park 42-22 by the Rabbitohs last week. The Wolf tipped the Cowboys to win the NRL Premiership before the season started and needs them to go on a winning run now.
FormNorth Queensland put a five-game losing streak to bed with a a dominant 26-14 win over the Gold Coast at home. The Cowboys remain 15th on the ladder with a 2-5 record. They rank 13th in scoring and 12th in defence. Canberra opened the season with four straight losses, then put together back-to-back wins before an embarrassing loss to the Rabbitohs on the Central Coast where they conceded 42 points. Canberra’s two wins have come against bottom three teams with a combined win record of 3-11. The Raiders rank sixth in attack but have the 13th rated defence.
Key MatchupJason Taumalolo v Josh Papalii: The Wolf can’t wait for this match-up! Taumalolo has finally broken out of his slumber and has been a human wrecking ball over the past two weeks. He has busted through 13 tackles over the past two rounds and scored a try in the win over the Titans last week. Meanwhile, Papalii has taken plenty of steps forward, after Ricky Stuart dropped him to Mounties in the NSW Cup earlier in the year. He has offered great impact off the bench in his last two matches, but he is a starter, and the Raiders are a better side the longer he is out on the field. 1300Smiles Stadium will be shaking when these two big boys clash on Saturday night!
Stats That Matter– North Queensland are 2-5 ATS with a 4-3 over record while Canberra are 2-5 ATS with a 4-3 over number. – Canberra have won 21 of the 39 all-time meetings against North Queensland though the Cowboys have won 14 of the last 19 meetings dating back to 2007. – The Cowboys have won nine straight against the Raiders in Townsville though six of those wins including the last three have all been by margins of eight or fewer. – Eight of the last 10 meetings have topped 41 points with no game over that run totalling fewer than 36. – The Cowboys have covered just 4 of their last 10 at home after scoring 24 or more and 4-8 ATS after conceding 14 or fewer. – The Raiders are 25-15 ATS with a 26-14 over record away from Canberra Stadium, including a 16-8 ATS number as an underdog. – Canberra are 7-3 ATS on the road getting a start of more than a converted try.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is hoping that the Cowboys have finally turned the corner after their win over the Titans last week. North Queensland have won nine straight against Canberra in Townsville, and high-scoring affairs have been common, with eight of the last 10 meetings topping 41 points. Cowboys and overs for Wolfy.
How It’s Shaping UpNorth Queensland by 6
Recommended BetsBest: North Queensland & Over 43.5 ($2.60) Value: Jason Taumalolo to score a try ($4) First Tryscorer: Michael Morgan ($15)