Match Previews

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Cowboys game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 18: Cowboys v Roosters

With Holmes ruled out due to injury from last night, this is one game where Origin has played a big part already. Holmes was playing great before his injury and he will be sorely missed by the misfiring Cowboys.

Luckily for the Cowboys, Coach Payten has rediscovered the talented Daejarn Asi, who was very good for the Cowboys in his last outing. Despite the team sheet reading that Bowen will play fullback for Holmes, there is no way Payten is that dumb. The Hammer and Asi are the two most likely choices due to their superior speed.

But the really big news for this match came through yesterday, with Tedesco being rested following his big Origin performance. With Suaalii ruled out for the season earlier in the week and Taukeiaho missing due to hamstring strain, the Roosters are now missing so much talent from their best 17 earlier in the season, that the Cowboys at home are a massive chance in this one.

Just to recap, the following guys were all in the Roosters top 17 at the beginning of the season: Taukeiaho, Tedesco, Friend, Collins, Keary, B. Morris and Cordner. While guys like Sam Walker have stepped up to fill the void, as we saw against the Doggies last weekend, this Roosters team has lost the hard edge we have seen in previous seasons.

On my ratings and being played in Townsville, this game should go down to the wire.

But because the Cowboys form has been so patchy and the Roosters still have the potential to blow their opponents off the park, I am happy with the action we have here.

Predicted score Cowboys 22 – Roosters 22

NRL Round 17: Rabbitohs v Cowboys

This is a game that I see as being similar to the Manly v Raiders game.

The bookies are looking at the flogging the Cowboys copped at the hands of the Knights last weekend and with a few more players out due to Origin, they are predicting another Cowboys capitulation.

But there are a few reasons I think that the Cowboys will be competitive here:

1) In terms of getting flogged by the Knights, as you are aware I am a big believer in the Knights in 2021 and I think they played some terrific footy at home last weekend. The score line was not so much a reflection of how poor the Cowboys are, but rather, just what Ponga can do to a team when he is injury free.

2) The Cowboys were without the head coach due to COVID isolation requirements, so that was a huge disruption to their prep last week. He is back this weekend with the squad.

3) Souths are missing a ton of talent due to Origin and injury, with Latrell, Cook, Murray, Gagai, Arrow and Tatola, all missing this week. That is two key outside backs, and four starting forwards.

While the Cowboys will miss Holmes at 1, Hammer out wide and Molo in the middle, they do not lose Feldt this time around and they keep their halves pairing of Dearden and Drinkwater. Their forward pack is largely intact and they welcome back Gilbert from injury. While Souths still have their starting halves and some fire power out wide, their forward depth will be tested here. Marshall at 9 will be a target for the Cowboys big men, while Taaffe at the back will also be something the Cowboys will look to punish on the kick return, with the diminutive fullback a much different player to Latrell.

All in all, this is a very disrupted Bunnies team and although I do not think the Cowboys have the class to win, I do think they are worth a small bet at the head start.

Predicted score Rabbitohs 24 – Cowboys 16

NRL Round 16: Knights v Cowboys

The Knights look so much better at Ponga at 1, and when you throw in the recent return of Pearce from injury and the addition of Clifford, and perhaps you can see why I still have faith in this Knights line up.

I really like that Young has kept his spot on the wing, and with Hunt back on the other wing, the Knights have two wingers that provide very good go-forward and that are capable of finishing their chances.

The bench of Watson, Klemmer, King and Jones is strong and mobile, and at home, I like their chances here.

The Cowboys look decent enough, but guys like J Bowen, Hess and McLean will be targeted by the Knights attacking strike weapons.

Despite a promising run of form from Round 5 to Round 12, the Cowboys have slipped in recent weeks. While they nearly staged a miracle comeback against the Sharks, they were down 26-12 against the Sharks in Townsville, after being thrashed a week earlier against Manly.

There are no more excuses for this Knights outfit. Coach O’Brien has urged patience, but with his team, they should be competitive in all their remaining games in 2021.

D Saf is backing up from Origin, the Cowboys three player contingent is likely to be.

I think Ponga, Pearce and Brailey will all combine to help the Knights to a convincing win in this one.

Predicted score Knights 26 – Cowboys 14

NRL Round 15: Cowboys v Sharks

The Sharks have won three on the trot and as a result, the bookies are giving them a strong chance of causing an upset here and winning again.

However when you look at their last three wins, I think that only one of them was really impressive (their trashing of the Titans in Coffs Harbour).

Their other two wins came against a heavily depleted Dragons outfit in Round 11, where they scraped home by a single point, winning 13-12. The Dragons were without Dufty and Tariq Sims, while also missing Ravalawa.

Then last weekend, against a Panthers team missing Cleary, Luai, Capewell, Yeo and To’o, they came very close to losing due to a second half comeback from their opponents.

While they have shown plenty of grit to win in recent weeks, after they had an awful stretch of form when Coach Hannay took over, I am not convinced they should be such small underdogs here

The Cowboys, after starting well, were woeful against Manly last weekend. All the momentum they had been building went out the window with a shocking defensive display.

However, the Cowboys are a different team when playing up in Townsville, having won their last 5 home games.

And Payten has shown enough to think that they will bounce back with a strong performance in front of their home fans.

With Feldt back to replace O’Neil out wide and Dunn back from suspension, I think this is a stronger team. I like that Hess is back to playing in the middle and Dearden will be better off for the time he has spent with his new club.

The Sharks look set to welcome back Hamlin-Uele, and when you throw in Talakai, Fifita, Woods and Tolman, these big boys could really get fatigued playing up in Townsville.

I think the Cowboys fast men like Holmes, Drinkwater, Tabuai-Fidow and Robson at 9 will have plenty of luck at the end of each half and I think the Cowboys should win this one by about 8 points.

Predicted score Cowboys 28 – Sharks 20

NRL Round 14: Manly v Cowboys

Because of his importance to the team and because he was so heavily involved, it is likely that Manly will take a conservative approach to Tommy T for this match.

Jake Turbo and DCE are both likely to line up however, while Manly will also be glad to welcome back Dylan Walker, who will likely slot straight into the 1 jersey.

The market has reacted by shortening the Cowboys, will be without Kyle Feldt due to an injury he sustained. Justin O’Neil will replace him, and while this is a loss, the Cowboys will be glad to have back Val Holmes.

With the Cowboys having won six out of their last eight games, I can see why the bookies have shortened their odds here. There is no doubt Manly are a far worse side without the brilliance of their dynamic fullback, and they are also still without Josh Schuster at 6.

Foran’s return at 6 will help DCE, however the captain could also be physically and mentally drained following a historical loss for Queensland, so I really do like the chances of the Cowboys continuing their winning ways here.

Tom Dearden is a smart pick up for the Cowboys, and I think he will compliment the free running game of Drinkwater quite well.

On my system the teams are about even on paper (with Tom T out) and although Manly do have a home ground advantage, I think the Cowboys at the plus are worth a small bet here.

Predicted score Manly 23 – Cowboys 22

NRL Round 12: Cowboys v Warriors

The Cowboys scored some impressive tries against the Knights, but the Knights also squandered their opportunities with some basic errors last week.

One thing the Warriors are very good at is not making silly errors. With an average completion rate of 81%, they get through their sets better than any team in the competition.

While it was unconventional, having Walsh 1 and RTS on the wing seems to be working, and it provides them with some serious strike power in attack.

Defensively, the Warriors are also an underrated outfit, ranking 6th best in missed tackles, compared to the Cowboys who rank 4th worst.

But the real reason I am backing the Warriors this weekend is the absence of Taumalolo. The Cowboys pack looks so much more vulnerable without their million dollar man and the Warriors forward pack is one of their real strengths.

Although they welcome back Hess and Tom Gilbert is a great young player, the Warriors have a squad that is about 12 points better on my raw ratings.

Factoring in the home ground advantage – which is very strong up in Townsville, I think the Warriors are worth a small bet to win this one.

Predicted score Warriors 24 – Cowboys 18

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Broncos game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 9: Cowboys v Broncos

Both these teams staged impressive comebacks last weekend, however the Broncos comeback was unlike anything I have seen.

With Isaako’s poor positional play exposed on multiple occasions early in the match, the Broncos looked set for a long night. However, off the back of some beautiful backline movements and some amazing runs by their enigmatic number 1, the Broncos got themselves back in the game.

After that they started dominating through the middle, with Haas, Pangai, Carrigan and Lodge all proving hard to contain in the middle.

The Broncos outside backs also made a solid contribution, while the halves pairing of Gamble and Milford played far better than I thought was possible.

As for the Cowboys, they lost Hampton to injury last week and this has seen Clifford given another shot at the 7. He has been playing great in the QLD Cup, so it will be interesting to see if he can step up and cope with the NRL speed of the game.

Taumalolo is lining up at lock again, but he was underwhelming last weekend and does not seem too settled under Coach Payten.

Out wide, Javid Bowen gets another shot at the NRL – but he has not impressed me whenever we have seen him line up.

Drinkwater and Holmes are the big threat for the Broncos and because the Broncos still look very vulnerable at times, I am not willing to have too big of a bet here…but off the back of their last 60 minutes of football, I think the Broncos are a very good chance of covering the line.

Predicted score Cowboys 24 – Broncos 24

Steve Green is back with NRL Tips in 2021. With all of Steve's best bets and full previews of every NRL game, it's the only way to bet the NRL. Join now to start beating the bookies!


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