Round 6 in the NRL season kicks off on Thursday night as the Raiders take on the Cowboys from GIO Stadium. As always, Greg Davis is back on deck with his full preview and betting tips for the clash below.
Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys
GIO Stadium, Canberra, Thursday 14th April, 7.50pm (AEST)
1.Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Semi Valemei 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papali'i 9. Tom Starling 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Xavier Savage 15. Emre Guler 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Sebastian Kris 19. Hudson Young 20. Matt Frawley 21. Albert Hopoate 22. Jarrod Croker 23. Trey Mooney 24. Peter Hola
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Heilum Luki 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Connelly Lemuelu 18. Emry Pere 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Riley Price 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Ben Condon 23. Ben Hampton 24. Tomas Chester
YOU want calamity?
You want a game of footy where anything can – and will – happen?
You want to have pretty much no idea who will win?
Then step right up because we have a match for you.
Both Canberra and North Queensland have a habit of driving their loyal supporters mad. One week, they can be brilliant, the other week they can be diabolic. Sometimes they can swing between the two extremes inside the one 80-minute contest.
The supporter bases have known triumph and tragedy and all the tumult in between. They share the trait of being able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat while also being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
So, this should be fun.
Both teams are 2-3 after the first five rounds having met in Round 2 when the Cowboys claimed a convincing 26-6 win in Townsville. North Queensland were pretty good that night but the Green Machine was just horrible with 15 errors on the night.
The Cowboys scored four tries to one, had 56 percent of possession, completed 12 more sets and ran for 600-plus more running metres than the visitors who would have struggled to catch a cold.
Canberra bounced back with the biggest second half comeback win in the club’s 40-year history against the Titans the following week but everyone in the NRL knows the Gold Coast aren’t that keen on tackling.
The Raiders have fallen to Manly and Melbourne since when the Cowboys punished the Ponies (Brisbane Broncos) in the Queensland Derby and essentially threw away two premiership points as the Warriors stormed home to grab a Golden Point victory last Friday night.
So, neither side is bringing Winx-like form into this start. Reigning premier Penrith wouldn’t be shaking in their boots about either side upsetting their quest for back-to-back titles.
The Raiders are harder to beat at home with the Cowboys winning just seven times in 20 attempts in the nation’s capital.
A North Queensland power broker once told this scribe that whenever a manager of a Cowboys player suggested that Canberra was keen to sign his client, he never believed them because of the drastic difference in temperature between Townsville and the ACT.
The Cowboys have scored 30 more points than Canberra this season while conceding 45 points less. They are averaging 300 running metres more per match and five less errors.
The Raiders are favourites but this may as well be an even money bet.
North Queensland welcomes back Ivan Drago look-a-like Coen Hess in a boost for the Cowboys pack.
Kyle Feldt Anytime Tryscorer ($2.30 at Ladbrokes)
Jack Wighton Anytime Tryscorer ($2.60 at Ladbrokes)
$3.60 (1 Unit)