North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors Friday, June 15, 6pm 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
North Queensland’s season is in tatters after losing to last-placed Parramatta in Darwin last week, while the Warriors will look to cement their Top 4 position through the State of Origin period.
Recent FormThe Cowboys are now 4-10 on the season after their loss to the Eels, with the 13th ranked attack and 10th rated defence. The Cowboys have won just 1 of their last 5. New Zealand are back into the Top 4 with a dominant 32-16 win over Manly. The Warriors rank seventh in scoring and eighth in defence. The Warriors have not won two straight since Round 5.
Key MatchupJohnathan Thurston v Shaun Johnson. Many rugby league fans would agree that it will be a shame to see Johnathan Thurston finish his career without one more year of finals football. That’s the predicament facing the Cowboys after their horrible loss to the last-placed Eels. Unfortunately for Thurston, it looks like he has played one season too long, but he’ll be doing his best to get the Cowboys across the line against the Warriors in Townsville on Friday night. The Warriors currently find themselves in the Top 4, and Shaun Johnson’s timely return last week was critical in their win over Manly. Johnson scored a try and had two try-assists in the 20-point victory. It’s stating the obvious, but if the Warriors are to play deep into September, Johnson must remain healthy.
Stats That Matter– North Queensland are 6-8 ATS with a 9-5 under record, riding a five-game under streak. – New Zealand are 9-4 ATS with an 8-5 under record. – The Cowboys have won 4 of the last 5 against the Warriors. – The Cowboys have won 11 of the last 12 in Townsville. – The last three meetings and four of the last five in Townsville have failed to break 40 points. – North Queensland have won just 1 of 8 as a home underdog since 2015 with a 3-6 ATS record and a 6-2 total number. – The Cowboys are 10-6 ATS with a 10-6 under record after scoring 14 points or fewer. – North Queensland have covered four straight as an outsider. – The Cowboys are 15-11 ATS with a 17-9 under record off a loss. – The Warriors have covered just 20 of 45 away from Mt Smart and just 1 of their last 5 as a road favourite. – New Zealand have covered 8 of 10 after scoring 30 or more. – The Warriors have covered just 2 of 11 interstate at night.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf is giving the Cowboys one final chance. They were ordinary against the Eels last week, but do have a good record against the Warriors, especially at home. The Cowboys have won 4 of the last 5 against the Warriors, and 11 of the last 12 against them in Townsville. There’s still too much class in this Cowboys side to not go down without a fight in JT’s final year, especially in front of their home fans. Cowboys for the upset.
How It Shapes UpNorth Queensland by 2
Recommended Bets Best: North Queensland +2 ($1.91) Value: North Queensland 1-12 ($3.30) First Try: Kane Linnett ($17)