Cowboys v Wests Tigers Preview

Cowboys v Wests Tigers Preview

NRL.com Wed, 07 Apr 2010 16:38:00
Cowboys v Wests Tigers
Dairy Farmers Stadium
Saturday 7.30pm

‘Roll up, roll up, the circus is in town and we guarantee a night of thrills, spills and good ol’ fashioned fun!’

Headlined by the duelling magicians Johnathan Thurston and Benji Marshall, supported by speedsters (Willie Tonga, Lote Tuqiri), tricksters (Aaron Payne, Robbie Farah), strongmen (Luke O’Donnell, Keith Galloway) and even clowns (sorry Beau Ryan but you make the bed, you lie in it), this Saturday night shapes up as pure entertainment gold!

Regardless of whether the Cowboys or Wests Tigers are your side, all fans have to admit both provide excellent viewing – and when the two come together, fireworks are on the cards.

Both Marshall and Thurston have become master magicians, weaving spells on opponents with magnificent sleight of hand, kicks on a string – even the odd disappearing act as they slice through the line.

They are backed up brilliantly by their hookers; they direct play cleverly through the rucks and provide trick plays of their own when needed to spark all-out attack.

Then, with the likes of Tonga (three tries last week) and Tuqiri (old dog with seemingly endless bag of tricks) waiting to be fed out wide, both sides stack up very nicely indeed.

Marshall and Thurston, both captains at representative level, led their respective club teams to victory last weekend and now the Cowboys sit in 10th with a 2-2 record, while the Wests Tigers have rocketed up to third with a 3-1 ledger.

Both sides have maintained the 17 men from their Round 4 winning line-ups; however, the home side Cowboys have added Steve Southern and Manase Manuokafoa to an extended bench.

Watch out Cowboys: The missed tackle rate of the Cowboys is a concern going into a match against players who are harder to pin down than gaining an unchallenged look into a Manly dressing room.

Getting a hold of the likes of Marshall and Farah is no easy task and the big unit forwards in Galloway, Bryce Gibbs and Todd Payten can also be tough to rope in.

The Cowboys have missed 149 tackles so far this season, which averages out to 37.25 a match – way too many for an NRL team to maintain constant success.

The Wests Tigers have missed 99 tackles thus far, or 24.75 a game, with only the two teams above them on the ladder missing less – this correlation is no fluke.

The main Cowboys offenders are Luke O’Donnell (15 misses), Thurston and Payne (14 misses each), Scott Bolton (12 misses) and Sam Rapira (11 misses). Robbie Farah will target the latter two constantly around the rucks.

Watch out Wests Tigers: Shannon Gallant, the fullback replacing the replacement fullback, had a blinder last week and is out to prove he belongs in the NRL.

A former Wests Tiger, Gallant would love nothing more than to sink his old club with a mammoth display. Against the Titans last week Gallant ran for 194 metres with two kick-return line-breaks, offered two line-break assists and two try assists plus nine tackle-breaks.

Where it will be won: The hookers and halves – or more specifically Aaron Payne v Robbie Farah and Johnathan Thurston v Benji Marshall.

This match will come down to some brilliance from these men. Sure, the forwards are going to need to get the yards and the backs are going to need to finish off some plays, but the involvement of these four individuals is where this match will be decided.

Starting with the dummy-halves, both can blow the game wide open by forcing big, lumbering forwards to make tackle after tackle, before streaking by them when they are slow to react off the ground or through lateral movement.

Farah is a master at this and Payne isn’t far behind him when he is on his game.

As for Marshall and Thurston, sometimes it appears they have spiders on them as no-one wants to tackle them. Both have made running sideways before blasting through a hole a rugby league art form: Thurston with a show-and-go, Marshall with a scything step.

Currently Payne and Farah have just one line-break this year but Farah also has a try, three line-break assists and three try assists.

Thurston has four line-breaks, six line-break assists, two tries and six try assists, while Marshall has three line-breaks, four line-break assists, five tries and five try assists. These battles shape up as crackers.

The history: Played 21: Cowboys 11, Wests Tigers 10. The Wests Tigers have won eight of the past 10 matches between these two clubs, but the Cowboys have a decisive 8-2 advantage in games played in Townsville.

The matches were split last season, with the home team prevailing on both occasions – by large margins.

Conclusion: Don’t miss this game. If you are in Townsville get to the ground. If not, grab dinner at home and prop up the lounge, or head to the pub and get a good possie in front of the big screen.

This could easily go either way, with the home side likely to start slight favourites despite being lower on the ladder. Toss a coin and then sit back and enjoy the show.

Match officials: Referees – Gavin Badger & Brett Suttor; Sideline Officials – David Abood & Luke Potter; Video Ref – Tim Mander.

Televised: Fox Sports – Live 7.30pm.

the first line totally sums up what we should be witnessing come saturday night

good preview.
control thurston & payne, have someone in wests-tigers individually given job to get up and in their face and throw them to the ground. and continue doing it to until final siren.

surprised that we have the third least missed tackles in the nrl which is a big shock after the roosters game and even the first half against the raiders but a great stat nonetheless

I was pretty surprised by that as well. From the reaction on here one would have assumed we missed over 100 tackles in the Roosters game alone.

Hope Robbie busts up Payne like that red head twit!

Hell yeah. Round 2. Farah v Payne! Bring it ooooon!

@southerntiger:

I was pretty surprised by that as well. From the reaction on here one would have assumed we missed over 100 tackles in the Roosters game alone.

Its probably because we didnt bother making any tackles at all, you cant miss tackles if you dont bother making them! 😉

Channel 9 have really let this one slip through. I think if they could choose again they would want this game on Friday instead of the Dragons and a very under strength Brisbane.

Preview: Cowboys v Wests Tigers
Scott Brooks
VENUE & TIME: Dairy Farmers Stadium, Saturday April 10, 7.30pm (AEST).
COVERAGE: Fox Sports
HEAD TO HEADPlayed 21, Cowboys 11, Tigers 10
LAST TIME: Tigers 34 - Cowboys 14 at Leichhardt Oval, Round 19, 2009
MATCH ODDS: Luxbet: Cowboys $1.85, Tigers $1.97

WALKING WOUNDED: The Cowboys are virtually unchanged, with back-rower Steve Southern re-called from the Queensland Cup on an extended bench.
Tigers centre Blake Ayshford has been named, but remains in doubt with a knee injury picked up in the dying moments against Canberra last Sunday. Premiership player Daniel Fitzhenry will slot into the starting line-up if Ayshford fails to front. Backs Robert Lui (ankle) and Taniela Tuiaki (leg) are still unavailable.

FORM: Despite conceding the first try of the match, the Cowboys finally produced a first-half performance worth talking about last Saturday night against the Titans. Their 12-point break at half-time paved the way for a solid 32-18 victory to give the Townville-based club a commendable 2-2 win-loss record after four rounds. Being slow out of the blocks doesn’t appear to affect the Tigers. Twice this season they have managed to reel in sizeable deficits, the most recent being Sunday’s second-half blitz against the Raiders where they posted 25 unanswered points. The 35-22 result pushes them into the top-four on percentages.

WHO’S HOT: Willie Tonga was the star for the Cowboys last Saturday night with three tries, but diminutive full-back Shannon Gallant wasn’t far behind the former Test star in the excitement stakes. The Tigers’ discard did a fine impression of injured full-back Matt Bowen, producing some dazzling footwork on his way to posting 193 attacking metres for his team.
Tigers skipper Robbie Farah had an absolute blinder in the second-half to spark his team’s amazing revival against the Raiders. Good early season form has Farah on track to reclaim the NSW hooking role off incumbent Michael Ennis.

WE THINK: Watching Benji Marshall and Johnathan Thurston strut their strut on the same paddock will be worth the price of admission alone, but determining which superstar will dominate the most has a lot to do with the effectiveness of the rival forward packs. The Tigers have really improved up front this season and are no longer being dictated to by more aggressive opposition. One gets the feeling that if their big men can gain even the slightest of ascendancies up front then that will be enough to ensure the slick Tigers’ backline clicks into overdrive. This game should be a cracker. Tigers by 6.

Laurie Daley’s Preview:

North Queensland Cowboys v Wests Tigers, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm (EST)
This should be game of the round. The Cowboys at home are always hard to beat and Thurston is playing some really good football. The Tigers were blown apart by the Raiders in the first 40 minutes last week with their forwards. So it’s a big test for their forwards to aim up. I know they aimed up against Parramatta but then they fell back into their old habits. The Cowboys I’m sure will look at that and target them. The key for the Tigers is obviously to hold onto the football, and if they can hold onto the football and move forward in their defensive line and make good contact, they’ll win. If they don’t do their job, they won’t win but if they get on a roll and they allow Farah to get out of dummy-half and they’re not missing their tackles, the Tigers will be very good.

@willow:

Laurie Daley’s Preview:

North Queensland Cowboys v Wests Tigers, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm (EST)
This should be game of the round. The Cowboys at home are always hard to beat and Thurston is playing some really good football. The Tigers were blown apart by the Raiders in the first 40 minutes last week with their forwards. So it’s a big test for their forwards to aim up. I know they aimed up against Parramatta but then they fell back into their old habits. The Cowboys I’m sure will look at that and target them. The key for the Tigers is obviously to hold onto the football, and if they can hold onto the football and move forward in their defensive line and make good contact, they’ll win. If they don’t do their job, they won’t win but if they get on a roll and they allow Farah to get out of dummy-half and they’re not missing their tackles, the Tigers will be very good.

What a crap Preview 😆

North Queensland v Wests Tigers
GREG PRICHARD
April 8, 2010 - 6:17PM

Saturday, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7.30pm
Referees: Gavin Badger, Brett Suttor
Head to head: Cowboys 11, Tigers 10
Last clash: Tigers 34-14 at Leichhardt Oval (Rd 19, 2009)
TAB SportsBet: Cowboys $1.80, Tigers $2.00
FootyTab: Tigers +0.5

The Cowboys were dominant at home against the Titans last weekend, but the Titans were without their key playmaker in Scott Prince. The Tigers, with Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah fit and firing, promise to give them a tougher test. But the Tigers must be well aware that they can’t afford to keep giving big starts away and expect to win. They came from well back to beat the Raiders last weekend, just as they had done against the Sea Eagles in round one. They need to become more consistent over 80 minutes.

Superstar halfback Johnathan Thurston has become more important than ever to the Cowboys. The continuing absence through injury of his long-time partner in dynamic attack - fullback Matt Bowen - means there is even more heat on Thurston to make plays, but he is meeting the challenge. He got a lot more support from his teammates against the Titans than he did in the first three rounds, but they are going to have to rise to another level again this week. Despite being on the road, the Tigers are right in this game.

@willow:

Laurie Daley’s Preview:

North Queensland Cowboys v Wests Tigers, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm (EST)
This should be game of the round. The Cowboys at home are always hard to beat and Thurston is playing some really good football. The Tigers were blown apart by the Raiders in the first 40 minutes last week with their forwards. So it’s a big test for their forwards to aim up. I know they aimed up against Parramatta but then they fell back into their old habits. The Cowboys I’m sure will look at that and target them. The key for the Tigers is obviously to hold onto the football, and if they can hold onto the football and move forward in their defensive line and make good contact, they’ll win. If they don’t do their job, they won’t win but if they get on a roll and they allow Farah to get out of dummy-half and they’re not missing their tackles, the Tigers will be very good.

😆 c’mon Lozza give it up mate….didn’t work against Parra…didn’t work against the Raiders…wont work against the cows…

West Tigers by plenty… :sign:

On Radio just then - Big Sports Breakfast

David Middleton the NRL Stat man advised that Ayshford unlikley to play, and that Thurstons form and notibly his kicking (18 in a row) should see them to strong at home

All in all he believes that COWBOYS to win

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