Cowboys v Sharks preview: Katoa gets NRL debut, Hampton at fullback

North Queensland Cowboys veteran half Johnathan Thurston has been named to play in his 300th NRL game, the 30th player to reach the milestone in Australian rugby league.

Ben Hampton is the surprise inclusion for the Cowboys, named at fullback with Lachlan Coote out of the side due to a hamstring strain.

Te Maire Martin is named as the bench utility for the Cowboys beating out young gun Kyle Laybutt.

Sione Katoa has been named to make his NRL debut for the Cronulla Sharks, beating out recruit Aaron Gray.

Big gun recruits Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan will play at five-eighth and centre respectively, with fellow recruit Ava Seumanufagai also named to play off the bench.

Match officials: Gerard Sutton. Assistant referee: Chris Butler. Sideline officials: Kasey Badger and Phil Henderson. 

1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville, Friday March 9, 8:05pm.

Head-to-head: Played 44, Sharks 27 wins, Cowboys 17 wins.

Last five games: 

  • 2017 qualifying final; North Queensland Cowboys def. Cronulla Sharks 15-14. 
  • Round 24, 2017; Cronulla Sharks def. North Queensland Cowboys 26-16. 
  • Round 11, 2017; Cronulla Sharks def. North Queensland Cowboys 18-14.
  • 2016 preliminary final; Cronulla Sharks def. North Queensland Cowboys 32-20. 
  • Round 14, 2016; Cronulla Sharks def. North Queensland Cowboys 13-10. 

2017 points per game: Cowboys 19.3; Sharks 19.6.

2017 points conceded per game: Cowboys 18.3; Sharks 16.8.

Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League

This preview will be updated with team list news on Tuesday afternoon, with a full match preview to come on Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.
This site uses XenWord.