North Queensland Cowboys Vs Manly Sea Eagles
18 March 2017, 9pm (AEDST)
1300SMILES Stadium

North Queensland Cowboys 2-0-0

The Cowboys once again pushed the Brisbane Broncos to a gold point game. And they grabbed the competition points with a field goal from Thurston in the 87th minute. This was the second golden point game in a row and the extra days rest for tonight’s game will be well deserved. Their team was slick and fought back the whole game, with multiple plays pushing their limits to secure this win. Granville flew under the radar and had a ripper of a game, scoring in the 43 minute to reignite the Cowboys early in the second half and was, as always, solid in defence. Thurston stood tall with his no.2 man Morgan showing why he’s going to be a top tier player in a few years.

Manly Sea Eagles 0-0-2
Off to a flyer vs Souths last week, scoring 3 tries in 12 minutes to take a 12 nil lead. As we have seen so far this year however, their defence folded quicker than a cheap camping chair from K-Mart. Letting in 3 Converted tries by Halftime and falling off their structures again and allowed Souths to pile on a further 20 points in the last 20 minutes. If they do this again tonight, it could be another very ugly loss. Their forwards need to lift their game tonight and start doing the hard yards to allow their backs to score the points that they do have in them.

Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)

North Queensland Cowboys:
Suspension and injury has taking its toll on the Cowboys. The Outs: M. Scott, L. Coote, A. Winterstein and J. Taumalolo are adequately covered by the depth of this team. The Ins include, P. Kaufusi, K. Ponga, J. Bowen and Fensom to be on the bench. There is still mystery to the final make up of the team, but Hess is anticipated to start, not Hampton, but we won’t know until final team lists.

Manly Sea Eagles:
No major structural changes with S. Lane onto the bench in replacement for B. Bainbridge. Confusingly for us, J. Hastings still isn’t getting a run, with the team at 2 losses, if they lose tonight this may change.

Their last 5 game report card: NQ 5-0, 3-0 at home, 2-0 at Lottoland, Manly 0-5, 0-3 at 1300SMILES.
2016 – round 16, NQ won 30-26 in NQ and Round 9, NQ won 34-18 at Lottoland.
2015 – round 19, NQ won 30-12 at Lottoland and round 12, won 18-14 at 1300SMILES.
2014 – round 26, NQ won 30-16 at 1300SMILES

Fun fact – NQ have won 34/40 at 1300SMILES Stadium and Manly have only won 1 game away from Lotto land since round 8 2016.

What we take from this?
This is the golden era for North Queensland, they are almost unbeatable at home, mix in the atrocious traveling ability of the Manly team and its going to be 35/41 games at 1300SMILES. The weather could play a factory, atm (3:42pm AEDST) its fine,but the weather forecast is “isolated thunderstorms from 9pm to the early morning.

For Us it’s a win for NQ, we are buying a few points, just in case the weather is a shocker. Also remembering the “Golden Numbers” in NRL are 2,4,6,10,12. The line is currently a tricky -11.5 across the board, which means you will need 2 Converted tries.

We are buying down to -9.5 $1.78 (Ladbrokes) to allow a wayward kick in these potential conditions.

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