North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels
Friday, August 24, 7:55pm
1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville  

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Parramatta ended a five-match losing streak when these two sides last met in round 14 at Darwin’s TIO Stadium. On that night, it was Jarryd Hayne who sparked the Eels as he scored two tries in a 20-14 win for Parra. The Eels were unfortunate not to draw closer to the Melbourne Storm in round 23, as the 16-point final margin was not indicative of their effort in that contest. The same can be said for the Cowboys, who trailed by only two points with less than 10 minutes to go against the Sharks, only to be outplayed down the stretch.

Stats That Matter

  • Johnathan Thurston is connecting on a career-low 74 per cent of his conversions this season. He is nearly an 80 per cent career goal kicker.
  • The Cowboys (263) have committed the most errors in the National Rugby League this season.
  • Parramatta has won only two of its eight games in Townsville since 2008, but did beat the Cowboys at their home ground 24-6 in 2017.
  • The over is 12-7 in the last 19 clashes between these two sides and has hit in each of their past three meetings.
  • The Eels (13th) and Cowboys (14th) are in the bottom four in tries scored this season, with 63 and 61 respectively. 

Final thoughts

The Wolf knows it is sure to be a packed house at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday night, as a future National Rugby League immortal says goodbye to his adoring home fans. This match also doubles as a wooden spoon decider, with the winner likely avoiding the dreaded last-placed finish. The Cowboys players will undoubtedly be up for this game and would have circled it some weeks ago after their finals chances were well and truly over. Jason Taumololo returns from suspension for the Cowboys in a huge boost and with the Eels travelling interstate in back-to-back weeks, this looks like a great spot to back the Cows.

How It Shapes Up

North Queensland by 14.

Recommended Bets

Best: North Queensland -4.5 ($1.90)
Value: North Queensland 13+ ($3)
First Tryscorer: Kyle Feldt ($10)

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