North Queensland Cowboys 2019 NRL Season Preview & Analysis
The Cowboys kick off the post-Thurston era
North Queensland Cowboys
Finished in 2018: 13th (8 wins, 16 losses)
Key ins: Jordan Kahu, Tom Opacic & Josh McGuire (Broncos), Ben Barba (St Helens), Nene Macdonald (Dragons), Kurt Baptiste (Roosters)
Key outs: Lachlan Coote (St Helens), Kane Linnett (Hull KR), Shaun Fensom (Broncos), Jonathan Thurston & Antonio Winterstein (Retired), Ben Barba (Released)
Coach: Paul Green
Captain(s): Matthew Scott
Summary: These Cowboys are set to embark on the next era of the club, after bidding farewell to their leader Jonathan Thurston. While Thurston will remain close with the club he won’t be on the field and now it’s Michael Morgan’s team to run. Morgan has the talent and creativity to spearhead the Cowboys attack but Paul Green’s tactics as seen in 2018 might stifle that. The Cowboys ranked last in offloads and were bottom tier in all major offensive categories. The team will need to heavily rely on their edge forwards such as Taumalolo and Hess as well as Morgan around the park because they have lacked firepower on the outside for some years now. Expect a growth season for the Cowboys as they struggle to find their identity in the wake of Thurston’s departure.
Key stat: The Cowboys ranked #16 in offloads in 2018.
Round 1: Cowboys v Dragons
Saturday, 16 March, 8:00 PM – 1300SMILES Stadium
|North Queensland Cowboys – $1.95*|
St. George Illawarra Dragons – $1.95*
Best Dally M Chance: Michael Morgan
*Prices correct at time of publishing