Two in-form sides will feature on Super Saturday.
Sydney Roosters have quietly gone about their business for most of the season and sit just one win behind league leaders Melbourne on 30 competition points.
North Queensland are just a win further back but find themselves in fifth spot on For and Against, so if they have eyes on a top four spot they need to keep on winning in order to get their points differential up.
The chooks head into this contest with five wins from their past six games with the latest of those being a 28-4 decision against Newcastle last week. As for the Cowboys, they are chock full of confidence too with four straight wins but those have all been against teams outside the top eight.
DOWN ON TROOPS
Both sides have been affected by injuries this season.
NORTH QUEENSLAND are without their captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston while the Roosters go into this game missing Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend.
Despite missing some quality talent each side, especially the Cowboys, are making do with what they have.
North Queensland, for instance, has won four straight without Thurston which is the first time that has happened during his tenure in Townsville. Sydney Roosters are still managing to rack up the wins and last week had to do the job against the lowly Knights without Cordner and Friend.
DEFENCE HOLDING FIRM
The Cowboys defence has held firm over the past month.
Paul Green’s men have conceded just 13 points on average during their four-game winning run but the only caveat there is that it has been against teams currently outside the top eight.
Their six losses for the 2017 season have seen their defence concede an average of 25.1ppg with five of those losses being against teams in the top eight, so from that, we can assume that they can handle the teams that are struggling but leak points against good attacking outfits.
That spells trouble here considering Luke Keary has 25 linebreaks and 19 try assists this season while Mitchell Pearce has seven try assists and six linebreaks in his past six matches.
This is good reading for SYDNEY ROOSTERS fans.
They have their second best win percentage over the Cowboys at just under 71 percent while the Townsville outfit’s worst percentage against any club is when they play the Sydney Roosters.
Trent Robinson’s men have won three of the past four meetings but it’s their meetings at Allianz Stadium which will give those having something on the chooks plenty of confidence.
North Queensland has lost nine of their past 11 games at the venue while they only have two wins against the Roosters at Allianz, which were back-to-back efforts in 2009 and 2010.
Margin punters will be interested to note that the average winning margin between the sides is 21.8ppg in their past five clashes. A Roosters 12+ Win is returning $3 @ Will Hill while a similar margin for the Cowboys will get you $5.45 with the same agency.
We like the Sydney Roosters here and recommend you take the $1.70 @ bet365.
They seem to lift and get the job done at Allianz Stadium these days and have won nine of their past 10 in front of the Roosters faithful and are currently on a five-game winning streak at the ground.
When you combine that with the aversion North Queensland has for playing at the venue then the case for a hometown wins firms.
We think it will be a tight contest though and that goes along the lines of results surrounding the Roosters at Allianz this season, where four of their five wins in 2017 have been by four points or less.
If you are looking for some value when it comes to tryscorers, Daniel Tupou has crossed the line in three of his past four games. He is $11 @ Sportsbet to score the first try here.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 1-6 WINNING MARGIN