We take a look at the NRL Preliminary Final between the Sydney Roosters and the Nth Queensland Cowboys. The Roosters will host the Cowboys on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium and will go into the match as the overwhelming favourites in the market. The Roosters looked good in winning their Week 1 final whilst the Cowboys have caused two upsets on their way into this match and could not be discounted after their performance against the Eels.
When: 19:40 | Saturday 23/09/2017
Where: Allianz Stadium
Watch: Channel 9, Fox League or 📺 Watch Online for FREE HERE on your📱 or 💻.
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Tip: Sydney Roosters at $1.40
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Roosters: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Isaac Liu 14. Ryan Matterson 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Zane Tetevano 17. Connor Watson 18. Kane Evans 19. Victor Radley 20. Joseph Manu 22. Mitchell Cornish
Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Ben Hampton 15. Coen Hess 16. Corey Jensen 17. Shaun Fensom 18. Ray Thompson 19. Javid Bowen 20. Braden Uele 21. Matt Scott
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change
Cowboys must break new Sydney ground
North Queensland will have to climb their rugby league Everest in order to qualify for a second NRL grand final in three years, but insist they are ready to break new ground.
Saturday’s preliminary final against the Sydney Roosters will mark the Cowboys’ third successive trip to Sydney in as many weeks, playing havoc with their schedule.
Never before in North Queensland’s history have the side won three matches in as many weeks in NSW, which they will need to do to make this year’s grand final.
But fullback Lachlan Coote said the club had found its groove in making the two-and-a-half hour flight from Townsville during this year’s finals series.
“There’s obviously no formula to it,” Coote said.
“We’re just preparing the best we can and I think we’ve got that right.
“The boys are doing their job and preparing well. Doing what’s best for the team. It doesn’t matter where you play, as long as you prepare well and we’re doing that.”
The effects of back-to-back trips to Sydney have in the past been clear on the Cowboys.
Last week’s victory over Parramatta marked the first time since April 2015 they had won two weeks running in Sydney.
But North Queensland have been quick to turn the negative into a positive at the back-end of 2017.
Coach Paul Green noted last weekend the playing group had become even tighter through the regular travel, and it has clearly shown in their desperation for each other on the field.
Off the field, Green has found a balance at training too.
Constant travel means the club had just one full session before their captain’s run ahead of the Eels clash, and that number will rise to only two this weekend.
That’s made things particularly tricky considering the amount of new faces in the squad given the injuries to key players, a problem Coote admitted hurt the team as they won just one of their last six regular-season games.
But with the finals upon them, and the Cowboys finally having found consistency in their 17, the club is now reaping the rewards.
“We’ve learned to deal with what we’ve done, and finding that balance to have a break and let the players rest and to have quality training sessions to get the new guys right,” Coote said.
“I think we have found the balance and things are paying off for us now.”