NRL Round 9 – Match 4 Preview: Sydney Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys

In Monday night’s match the Roosters host the struggling Cowboys at Sydney Football Stadium and it will be another tough game for North Queensland who are facing their fifth consecutive loss.

Last week Sydney worked their way up to number five on the ladder when they beat the Tigers 12 – 8. It was an important although gritty win and one that proved they have definite premiership claims.

This round the Chooks will enjoy the home ground advantage and they should be able to claim their second successive victory for the first time since the opening two rounds when they won against the Rabbitohs and the Tigers.

The Cowboys, however, are in real trouble and are in danger of being just a footnote in the NRL this season, especially with skipper Johnathan Thurston injuring his shoulder last week in their massive Round 8 loss to the Storm.

So they are away from home, playing on the back of four loses, without their captain and also missing other injured players including Bowen and Payne; it is no wonder Ladbrokes.com.au have the Cowboys at the long odds of $3.20.

North Queensland also have two big name players with rep duty this week as Luke O’Donnell and Willie Mason play in the City v Country match, which is another strain on their already weakened side.

Sydney made a few handling errors in their win last week and so will have to work on that, but if they play with the same determination and their five players backing up from test duties on Friday night, namely the instrumental Todd Carney and Anthony Minichiello from the City v Country match, then the Roosters will have this one in the bag.

The Cowboys are another team in big danger of ending up at number 15 on the Ladder after this round, the worst possible spot for teams still in contention for the all-important premiership ring this year.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Roosters $1.36 – Cowboys $3.20 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 9 Roosters Team:

1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Phil Graham 3. Ben Jones 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Braith Anasta (c) 7. Todd Carney 8. Jason Ryles 9. James Aubusson 10. Jared Waera-Hargreaves 11. Nate Myles 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Frank Paul Nuuausala

Bench: 14. Daniel Conn 15. Lopini Paea 16. Aidan Guerra 17. Nick Kouparitsas

Round 9 Cowboys Team:

1. Shannon Gallant 2. John Williams 3. Ashley Graham 4. Willie Tonga 5. Michael Bani 6. Grant Rovelli 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matthew Scott 9. Aaron Payne 10. James Tamou 11. Scott Bolton 12. Willie Mason 13. Luke O’Donnell

Bench: (from) 14. Anthony Watts 15. Steve Rapira 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Antonio Kaufusi 18. Clint Amos 19. Manase Manuokafoa 20. Dane Hogan