The Titans’ season is winding down fast, but they have a chance to take down one of the heavyweights in the competition with several Cowboys missing from Origin’s service.
North Queensland’s big start to 2022 has seen Val Holmes, Reuben Cotter, Jeremiah Nanai, Tom Dearden, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Murray Taulagi all rewarded with Maroons selection, while Gold Coast have no big arms Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Origin) and David Fifita (knee).
The Titans have lost seven of the last eight, including Friday’s inexplicable swoon against the Broncos in which they led 24-4 after 50 minutes before giving up five tries in 21 minutes to get knocked out of the park.
North Queensland are also coming off defeat but manager Todd Payten could take plenty of positives from his gutsy second-half performance against Premiers Penrith and the players coming into his side will know exactly what is expected of them and the standards. what they need to live. until.
titans: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is on Origin duty with the Maroons and David Fifita is also out after aggravating a knee injury against Brisbane in his first game after three weeks off the pitch. Moeaki Fotuaika is back from an ankle injury in support and Isaac Liu is going to block to fill the gap left by Fa’asuamaleaui.
Patrick Herbert (calf) returns in the crosses, pushing Esan Marsters to the bench. Running back Toby Sexton and end Jamayne Isaako suffered shoulder injuries against the Broncos but have been called up to play.
Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo’s return from a knee injury is a huge boost with Val Holmes, Reuben Cotter, Tom Dearden and Jeremiah Nanai serving for the Maroons. Murray Taulagi and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow were also part of Billy Slater’s 22-man Queensland team for Origin One, but were released to play for the Cowboys. Tabuai-Fidow moves to center to take Holmes’s place, Brendan Elliot enters the wing and Ben Hampton is the new fifth-eighth.
Coen Hess moves from lock to pillar, Heilum Luki enters the starting side on the second row and Connelly Lemuelu joins the dugout.
Toby Sexton vs. Chad Townsend: The rising star squares off against the seasoned veteran in an intriguing battle of skill and will. With 21 and 16 games into his NRL career, Sexton has hit a flat spot as his team’s fortunes have plummeted, but he’s still managed six assist attempts and 18 forced retirements this season. At 31 years old and with 204 games and a premiership to his name, Townsend has bid for buy-of-the-year honors with a series of high-quality performances as the Cowboys have climbed to third place on the ladder.
The Cowboys boast the second-best defense in the NRL behind Penrith, giving up just 153 points at 12.75 per game. The Titans have the second worst defense, giving up 300 points at an average of 25 per game. Over the last four weeks, the Titans have let in 120 points at 30 per game.