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|North Queensland Cowboys v Canterbury Bulldogs
Saturday, April 14, 5:30pm (AEST)
1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
|Best: North Queensland -10 ($1.91)
Value: North Queensland 21-30 points/Canterbury 0-10 points ($6)
First Tryscorer: Kyle Feldt ($9)
The Cowboys have made a shock 1-4 season and the critics are out in force saying that the great Johnathan Thurston has gone one season too long. Lachlan Coote returns to the side, with Ben Hampton moving to the centres at the expense of Javid Bowen. The Bulldogs are in a similar boat, with a 1-4 start to the season and will be desperate for a win in Townsville.
North Queensland have been an absolute mess this year with just one win from five games despite starting the season close to premiership favouritism. They have lost four on the trot. Conceding 22-plus in all those defeats. The Cowboys have not broken 20 all year. Canterbury also have just a single win all season and have posted the second worst defence. The Bulldogs have not surpassed 20 points all season. They have lost by 16-plus in their three games away from ANZ.
Johnathan Thurston v Kieran Foran: Thurston has been slammed in the media by the likes of Greg Alexander that he might have played a season too long. He’ll have a point to prove to the critics and would love a big performance against his former club. Kieran Foran was one of the Bulldogs best in a beaten side last week, scoring a try and setting up another. He looks to be finding his feet at Belmore and needs another strong performance to get the Bulldogs season on track.
Stats That Matter
– North Queensland are 1-4 ATS with a 3-2 over record while Canterbury are 1-4 ATS with a 3-2 under record.
– Canterbury have won 21 of the 36 all-time matches against North Queensland but the Cowboys have won five straight, all by margins of seven or greater.
– Five of the last seven matches have tallied fewer than 40 points.
– The Bulldogs hold a 12-5 all-time advantage over the Cowboys in Townsville.
– The Cowboys have covered 11 of their last 16 when favoured by more than a converted try at home.
– They are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 as a big home favourite off a loss.
– The Bulldogs are 11-27 ATS away from ANZ since 2015 with a 25-13 under record.
– The under is 8-3 when the Bulldogs are on the road off a loss of 10 or more.
– Canterbury are 4-9 ATS as a road team of more than a converted try.
The Wolf will never write off a champion like Johnathan Thurston and is expecting a big response from him and the Cowboys here. The Cowboys have won five straight against the Bulldogs, all by margins of seven or greater. It should be a similar story on Saturday night.
How It’s Shaping Up
North Queensland by 13