The Cowboys need to find winning form – and fast!
North Queensland are on a four-game losing streak and are sitting in eighth spot on the table and with a daunting match against Brisbane in the final round, will need to win here to give themselves every chance of playing finals footy.
They come into the game after going down to Cronulla 26-16 at home which continued their recent poor form against top eight opposition.
The Wests Tigers may be running second last on the table but have been playing some exciting footy of late and have shown plenty of enthusiasm in doing so.
Ivan Cleary’s side was gallant in defeat when going 22-18 to premiership heavyweights Sydney Roosters last Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.
The NORTH QUEENSLAND outfit could welcome back up to four regulars for their trip to Campbelltown.
Michael Morgan, Antonio Winterstein, Lachlan Coote and Gavin Cooper have been just some of the players missing for Paul Green’s outfit who have endured the worst injury run of any team in 2017.
The fact they are still in finals contention shows just how deep the club is in terms of depth, however, they have been struggling of late and gone winless in the past month.
Although they kept Cronulla tryless in the second half last week they conceded four tries in the first 40 minutes which all but sealed the game. The margin flattered them in the end as the Cowboys scored two four-pointers in the final eight minutes.
The addition of Morgan and the others mentioned above, who have been named, could make the world of difference to the visitors but we advise punters to check the official team lists closer to kick-off to see who’s in and who’s out.
WESTS TIGERS haven’t had the most enjoyable season but they are finishing it off with a wet sail.
Cleary’s men produced a big comeback to knock off Manly a fortnight ago and very nearly caused another upset in the Roosters only to fall four points short at the finish.
With this game being played at Campbelltown Stadium you would think that would be some sort of advantage for the Tigers but they have been easybeats in three matches there this season.
Admittedly that was when they were playing far worse than they are now and the margin of defeat has reduced with each game (against the Panthers, Roosters & Titans).
WESTS TIGERS have won back-to-back games against the Cowboys and will be aiming for three straight for the first time in five seasons.
Earlier this season in Round 6, Wests Tigers went up to Townsville and sprung one of the upsets of the season in winning 26-16 with Johnathan Thurston limping off in the concluding stages of the match.
Before that it was the Tigers again, this time at Leichhardt, with a 26-14 result. The last time these teams played at Campbelltown though it was a win for the Cowboys who kept the home team scoreless in taking the match 8-nil.
There isn’t anything in the betting between these two but we are leaning towards the home side – but only just!
WESTS TIGERS ($2.04 @ Unibet) have been far more competitive in the past month than they have been for most of the season with Cleary’s polish starting to bear fruit.
The Cowboys have been battling injuries all season and are being patched up at the wrong time of the year.
North Queensland has everything to play for and need the two points here but in front of what should be a decent crowd at Campbelltown in what is James Tedesco and Aaron Woods’ farewell games at the venue, we think Wests Tigers are worth the gamble.
JAMES TEDESCO FIRST TRYSCORER