The Cowboys will be looking to continue on their good form when they take on the Rabbitohs.
North Queensland has won four of their past five games with most of their wins this season without champion five-eighth Johnathan Thurston. They are now eyeing off a spot in top eight and possibly even the top four so each win is vital in the run to the end of the season.
Souths’ finals hopes are all but gone following their narrow two-point defeat to bitter rivals Sydney Roosters last week, with the loss leaving the 2014 premiers three wins outside the finals positions.
LIFE GOES ON
NORTH QUEENSLAND were expected to struggle once Johnathan Thurston injured his shoulder and was declared out for the rest of the season.
Instead, Paul Green’s men have adapted to life without JT and are playing some good football with their only recent loss coming to the Melbourne Storm 23-22 when both sides were Origin effected.
Defensively they have shaped up in the past five games and have conceded just 13.2ppg during that stretch while their attack has thrived, scoring over 20 points on four occasions and topping 30 twice.
SOUTHS’ season appears over.
The Rabbitohs need to pretty much win all their remaining games to get into the top eight but haven’t been able to string together more than two wins all year.
There were signs of life from the bunnies with big recent wins over the Tigers and Penrith, however, facing a depleted Roosters outfit they were terribly disappointing last week.
With very little to play for now and only a mathematical chance of getting into the top eight, how will their attitude be for this one?
This is the second straight year that these sides will play in Cairns.
Playing almost 12 months ago to the day, North Queensland ran out 20-nil winners at Barlow Park which is the first and only time Souths have been held scoreless by a Queensland-based opponent.
Overall the Cowboys have won seven of the past eight between the sides with five of those wins being by 13 points or more. A North Queensland win here by the 13+ margin is returning $3.50 @ William Hill.
We like North Queensland here and think the $1.71 (@ Unibet) looks pretty generous.
They have everything to play for and are jostling for positions inside the top eight, plus, they are playing some good football. With the match being up in Cairns at a neutral venue, the advantage is definitely with them as they have a healthy 5-3 record on the road this season.
North Queensland are leading the competition for completed sets while it seems as though the referees like them, with the side conceding the few penalties of all 16 teams.
Considering all that and the fact that Souths are probably thinking their season is shot, we are really keen on the boys from Townsville.
NORTH QUEENSLAND 13+ WINNING MARGIN