North Queensland Cowboys v Newcastle Knights Friday, July 27, 6pm 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
The Johnathan Thurston farewell tour continues in Townsville on Friday night, and it will be up to the Cowboys to give their inspirational leader a rare victory this season. The Cowboys have lost their last five matches and eight of their last nine. The Knights will fancy their chances of an upset over the struggling Cowboys, with wins over the Eels and Titans in their last two matches. We could also see the homecoming and return of the exciting Kalyn Ponga.
Recent FormNorth Queensland are 15th on the ladder with a poor 4-14 record. They rank 14th in scoring and 11th in defence. The Cowboys have dropped their last five and eight of their last nine. North Queensland have scored more than 20 points just three times this year. Newcastle are 11th on the ladder with an 8-10 record. They have the worst defence in the NRL while they rate 12th in scoring. The Knights have won their last two and are 7-2 against teams outside the Top 8.
Stats That Matter– North Queensland are 7-11 ATS with a 12-6 under record, going under in eight of their last nine. – Newcastle are 9-9 ATS with a 10-8 over record. – The Cowboys have won three straight and 8 of their last 11 against the Knights. – North Queensland have won five of the last six against the Knights in Townsville with the last four wins being by 12 or more. – Three of the last five clashes have topped 50 points. – The Cowboys are 18-14 ATS when favoured by 4 or more points at home, including a 12-6 ATS record off a loss. – The Cowboys are 14-8 ATS after being held to 12 points or fewer. – The Knights are 18-26 ATS since 2015 away from Newcastle, including a 9-15 ATS record in night/twilight games. – Newcastle are 13-21 ATS on the road after conceding 20 or more. – Newcastle have failed to cover their last three after winning two straight.
Final ThoughtsBoth of these sides have struggled this year, making it hard to settle on a winner. The Wolf has decided that the Townsville factor will prove the difference. North Queensland have won five of the last six against the Knights in Townsville, and should return to the winner’s circle here.
How It Shapes UpNorth Queensland by 4
Recommended Bets Best: North Queensland ($1.52) Value: North Queensland & Over 40.5 ($2.85) First Tryscorer: Gavin Cooper