NRL Round 12 – Match 4 Preview: Cowboys v Sea Eagles

On Saturday night the North Queensland Cowboys have a home game up at Diary Farmers Stadium when the Sea Eagles come to visit.

The Cowboys have had a very dismal looking start to the season, well down the ladder in number 14 with just three wins. Last week they enjoyed a bye, while on Wednesday Willie Tonga, Matthew Scott and the great Johnathan Thurston did their bit for Queensland’s Origin game one victory.

With Thurston firing on all cylinders, earning himself the Man of the Match on Wednesday night, the rest of North Queensland will be hoping the talented halfback will be able to bring some of that same magic to Saturday’s game and help the Cowboys get a much needed win.

They have the home ground advantage this week, but facing off against Manly is going to be tough.

The Sea Eagles are sitting in the fourth spot on the NRL ladder at the moment and also enjoyed a bye last week. Before that, in Round 10, Manly did suffer a loss to the Eels and will be keen to make up for that and fight to stay in the top four.

Manly will go into this game as the favourites, currently at $1.67 through Ladbrokes.com.au, and have four of their own backing up from Origin as Jamie Lyon, Josh Perry, Anthony Watmough and Matt Ballin all return to the Sea Eagles.

Ballin played hooker for Queensland after Cameron Smith was ruled out earlier in the week, and how well he backs up after his Origin debut is in doubt. Also Steve Matai is out on suspension and although Kieran Foran has been named as Manly’s No. 4 for Saturday, he still has some injury issues.

The Sea Eagles haven’t won up in Townsville since 2004, so we are going to go against the grain here and back the $2.25 underdogs with [sporstbet] and say the Cowboys are overdue for a win and this week is their week to get it.

Thurston will still be charging from Origin and with other big North Queensland players Mason, Bolton and O’Donnell well rested from a bye after not having played Origin, as long as they can work on their completions we think the Cowboys can give the crowd a home game victory!

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Cowboys $2.25 – Sea Eagles $1.67 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 12 Cowboys Team:

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

Bench: 14. Anthony Watts 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Carl Webb 17. Antonio Kaufusi

Reserve: 13. Issac Ah Mau

Round 12 Sea Eagles Team:

1. Ben Farrar 2. Michael Robertson 3. Jamie Lyon (c) 4. Kieran Foran 5. Tony Williams 6. Chris Bailey 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Jason King (c) 9. Matt Ballin 10. Josh Perry 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Shane Rodney 13. Glenn Stewart

Bench: 14. Joe Galuvao 15. Brent Kite 16. Matt Cross 17. Terence Seu Seu

Reserve: 18. Jamie Buhrer