NRL Preview: Roosters v Cowboys


NRL Preview
Sydney Roosters v North Queensland Cowboys

Sunday, August 14, 4pm (AEST), Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Best Bet: Sydney Roosters +6.5 ($1.90)
Other: Sydney Roosters ($2.60)
Sydney Roosters HT/FT ($3.75)

The Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys are both looking to bounce back from disappointing Round 22 losses  against the Panthers and Tigers respectively in what is an important game for both teams.

Selection Notes
Mitchell Pearce and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves are both back for the Roosters with Grant Garvey out and Aidan Guerra dropped to 18th man. North Queensland have lost Jake Granville and Ben Hannant to injury with Ray Thompson and Patrick Kaufusi replacing them. Kyle Feldt is back from suspension, replacing Javid Bowen.

The Sydney Roosters have won 23 of 33 all-time against North Queensland though the last eight have been split evenly. The teams met in Townsville in Round 3 with the Cowboys winning 40-0 while the teams have met at the SFS just once since 2010 with the Roosters winning a memorable final 31-30 after leading 30-0. One team has scored 28-plus in 5 of the last 6 matches. Kane Linnett has scored 4 tries in 5 games against the Roosters.

NRL betting odds database

The Sydney Roosters are 15th on the ladder with a 4-16 record and a -146 differential, second worst in the NRL. They have the 14th ranked attack and defence though their attack is up to 11th since Round 11. The Roosters have conceded 22-plus in 5 of their last 6. North Queensland are out of the Top 4 with their 12-8 record having them placed fifth. Their +189 differential is third in the NRL while they rank third in attack and second in defence. Since Round 11, the Cowboys’ attack has fallen to 10th in the NRL. They have won just one of their last four.

Round 23 NRL Odds

Key Matchup
Mitchell Pearce v Johnathan Thurston. Pearce is so critical to the Roosters with the club’s younger halves just having no patience and very little game sense. Thurston is the best in the game but was hammered from pillar to post by the Cowboys last week. Both teams will be hoping for normal programming to resume this week.

Stats That Matter
The Sydney Roosters are 9-11 ATS with a 13-7 over record while North Queensland are 10-10 ATS with a 12-8 under number. Home underdogs in the final seven rounds of the season since 2008 getting 6.5 or more are 34-17 ATS. Overs in day matches Rounds 20-26 are 57-43 since 2011. The Cowboys have covered just 1 of their last 6 road games, going under in each of them. Since 2013 road favourites of 6 or more off as loss are 14-20 ATS with a 21-13 under record. The Roosters have covered just 2 of 6 getting a start of 6 or more this year. Teams who conceded 38-plus the week prior cover at 57% since 2013 with underdogs covering at 59%.

In-Play Stat
The Sydney Roosters have blown three of their seven halftime leads this year while North Queensland are a perfect 11-0 when up at the break.

Behind The Curtains

Final Thoughts
Get in on the Roosters here. The Chooks get two very big names – and arguably their two most important players – back on deck and should be shocked into a good performance after their putrid effort on Monday night. The Cowboys meanwhile have lost their very good hooker Jake Granville. Home underdogs have a great record this time of year getting a solid start while underdogs who conceded a big score the week prior tend to bounce back.

How It’s Shaping Up
Sydney Roosters by 2

Best Bet
Sydney Roosters +6.5 ($1.90)

Best Exotic
Sydney Roosters HT/FT ($3.75)

Best First/Last Tryscorer
Boyd Cordner ($26.00)

Other Recommended Bets
Sydney Roosters ($2.60)