Round 7 NRL Preview: Roosters v Cowboys
Wednesday 11 April 2012 2:00 PM
SYDNEY ROOSTERS v NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Round 7, 2012 NRL Premiership
Saturday, April 14, 2012
NRL Kick-Off 7:00pm (NT Time), NYC Kick-Off 12pm (Sunday April 15 at North Sydney Oval)
TIO Stadium, Darwin
Referees: Ashley Klein/Gavin Morris
ROUND 7 GAME PREVIEW
Coming In To Round 7
Sydney Roosters are 3-1 in their last four games, and are coming off an 18-12 victory over the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park last Saturday night.
They have averaged 15.5 ppg since Round 3, and have conceded 18.0 ppg in that period.
They sit 5th on the competition ladder, 2 points off the 2nd placed Broncos.
North Queensland Cowboys are 2-2 in their last four games, and are coming off an 42-18 loss to the Storm at Dairy Farmers Stadium last Sunday night.
They have averaged 24.0 ppg since Round 3, and have conceded 18.5 ppg in that period.
They sit 9th on the competition ladder, equal on points with the 8th placed Knights.
Last Time They Met
Round 12, 2011 - Watch game highlights of the Cowboys 20-6 victory at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Round 12 last year.
Last 10 Games - Roosters 5 Cowboys 5.
The Cowboys have won 4 of the last 5 encounters, but they have never met in Darwin before.
Check back on SydneyRoosters.com.au
later this week for a tasty Head to Head feature Martin Kennedy and James Tamou.
Team Changes and Late Mail
Find all the Roosters Team and Injury News from Tuesday and full Round 7 Lineup here.
A Minichiello, J Carney, J Leilua, S Kenny-Dowall, S Perrett, B Anasta ©, M Pearce, J Waerea-Hargreaves, J Friend, M Kennedy, B Cordner, M Aubusson, T Arona.
Bench: A Guerra, L Tasi, B Takairangi, A Mitchell, D Mortimer, J Bosden.
North Queensland Cowboys
M Bowen, A Graham, B Tate, A Winterstein, K Faifai Loa, J Thurston, R Thompson, A Sims, A Payne, J Tamou, G Cooper, G Hall, D Johnson
Bench: > J Segeyaro, S Bolton, R Thorby, T Sims, M Pangai.
Roosters coach Brian Smith said that the Roosters are yet to fully fire in 2012, and this is the week to do it. Taking a home game to Darwin, the Roosters will be looking to put the heat on the Cowboys, who have been very hot and cold this year.
Frank-Paul Nuuausala’s loss will be big for the Roosters in the middle of the park, but his like-for-like replacement Tinirau Arona will do the job well.
Arona’s move to the starting line-up has opened up a place on the bench for the returning Aiden Guerra. Guerra was a key part of the Roosters late run last year, constantly finding ways to get over the line and generally cause havoc on the edges. His return will be crucial to the Roosters chances as he prepares for a possible battle with Cowboys bench back-rower Tariq Sims.
Martin Kennedy’s battle with James Tamou in the middle of the park, on which we will preview in more detail in this week’s head-to-head, will also be crucial to the result, as Tamou looks to push his Origin claims against Kennedy, who has been on fire since returning from a knee injury.
But the real battle takes place at five-eighth, where the two captains Braith Anasta and Johnathan Thurston battle. Their playing styles may be extremely different, but the former Bulldogs premiership winning teammates are the keys to their teams success most weeks. Thurston was very quiet last week against the Storm, while Anasta has been influential for the Roosters.
The winner of that battle could very well lead their team to victory, and on the form of both players of late, Anasta may just have the edge. If he and Mitchell Pearce can produce again, then the Roosters will be hard to stop.
How do you see the Roosters’ match playing out this Saturday? Will you be there? Let us know in the comments below.