Wests Tigers will look to bounce back from a run of tough defeats when they face the North Queensland Cowboys this Friday night at 1300 SMILES Stadium in Townsville.
Following a tough loss at home in Round 13, Michael Maguire's men have been focusing on their performance in preparation to make the trip to Townsville. The Cowboys experienced a tight defeat on their home turf against the Sea Eagles last weekend and the hosts will be eager to defend their territory this Friday night.
Wests Tigers are currently sitting 11th on the table with a 5-7 record and one bye while the Cowboys sit narrowly behind in 12th position with six wins so far.
In terms of team news, last week's late change of Corey Thompson to fullback and Moses Mbye to the centres will again take shape with Robert Jennings returning to the side on the wing in place of Mahe Fonua, who is ruled out with injury.
David Nofoaluma retains his spot on the opposite wing with Esan Marsters lining up in the centres for what will be his 50th NRL appearance for Wests Tigers.
Chris Lawrence on League Life
Following a successful return from injury last week, Chris Lawrence has been named on the bench alongside Jacob Liddle, Thomas Mikaele and Josh Aloiai, while Michael Chee Kam features in the run-on side after starting last week's game.
For the Cowboys, Coach Paul Green has named Enari Tuala at the centre with Mitch Dunn (shoulder) out injured, bringing Javid Bowen into the side on the wing.
Scott Bolton has been promoted to start at prop in place of Jordan McLean (hamstring), with Kurt Baptiste and Corey Jensen coming on to the bench. Last week's debutant, Reuben Cotter, drops out of the 21-man squad altogether.
In recent times, Wests Tigers have come out victorious with three wins in their past four games against the Cowboys and 19 wins all-time compared to North Queensland's 16 wins. However, this record is much different up in the tropical north, where the Cowboys have won 11 of 16 games between the two.
Statistically, Luke Brooks has engaged the line more than any other player in the NRL with a total of 107 times in 12 matches — showing he isn't afraid to take on the line — and he'll again look to combine with Benji Marshall in the halves.
Marshall and Robbie Farah were of course present when the two sides met in the 2005 Grand Final, and are still playing at the top of their game 14 years later as the duo approach the 300-game mark respectively in the next few weeks.
Date — Friday, June 14, 2019
Time — 7:55pm AEST
Venue — 1300 SMILES Stadium, Townsville
TV, RADIO AND LIVE STREAM INFORMATION
TV — Live via Channel 9 and FOX League (Ch.502)
Radio — AM 702 ABC Grandstand and AM 873 2GB
Live Stream — Foxtel Go, KAYO, NRL Digital Pass, 9NOW and Watch NRL (int.)
LATEST TEAM NEWS
North Queensland Cowboys: Enari Tuala moves into the centre for Mitchell Dunnn (shoulder) while Scott Bolton starts in place of Jordan McLean (hamstring).
Wests Tigers: Moses Mbye has been named in the centres with Corey Thompson slotting in to the fullback position. Robert Jennings returns the side while Benji Marshall remains in his position despite an eye injury last week. Chris Lawrence has been named on the bench after getting through 69 minutes his comeback match.
H2H — North Queensland Cowboys ($1.60), Wests Tigers ($2.32),
Line — North Queensland Cowboys +3.5 ($1.90), Wests Tigers +3.5 ($1.90)
Odds correct on Wednesday, June 6 — 18+ only and gamble responsibly
Overall — Played 35, Wests Tigers 19, North Queensland Cowboys 16
At 1300 SMILES Stadium — Played 15, North Queensland 11, Wests Tigers 4
Last Time They Met — Wests Tigers 220 def. North Queensland 12 (Rd.10, 2018)
Match Referees — Ben Cummins and David Munro
Touch Judges — Tim Roby and Belinda Sharpe
Review Officials — Beau Scott and Steve Chiddy