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The Roosters Crow: Tricolours Take On Townsville

The Sydney Roosters will be aiming to bounce back from last week against a red-hot Cowboys outfit that has stunned the competition - and what better way to reverse your fortunes than a change of scenery?

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs North Queensland Cowboys

An early-season trip up to Townsville will see the Red, White and Blue take on the Cowboys for the 42nd time since 1995, and gunning for their 30th win to boot. 

The Tricolours have recent form favouring them heading into this one, having won the last three matches against the Cowboys including their last two meetings at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. 

In 2022 the Cowboys have been a surprise packet of the competition, claiming two wins and keeping the Bulldogs and Raiders to six points, while they blew the Broncos apart in a dominant 38-12 victory on the weekend. 

The Roosters will be looking to regain form following two disappointing losses with a solid win over Manly in Round 2 in between and will have to do so in the tropical North Queensland climate which is expected to veer close to 30 degrees. 

How They Line Up

Head Coach Trent Robinson has listed a similar squad to the one that took the field last week, with just two changes to the team that faced Souths.

Fletcher Baker comes out of the side, with Daniel Suluka-Fifita named to make his first appearance of the season off the bench.

Connor Watson has been named to start at hooker, with Drew Hutchison shuffling back to the bench.

The remainder of the side is unchanged, with Captain James Tedesco at fullback with Daniel Tupou and Billy Smith on the edges.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul Momirovski
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
    Winger for Roosters is number 22 Kevin Naiqama
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary


  • Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLean
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
    Hooker for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
    Prop for Roosters is number 17 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Nat Butcher
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 16 Reuben Cotter
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley


  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
    Interchange for Roosters is number 8 Lindsay Collins
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum Luki
    Interchange for Roosters is number 9 Connor Watson
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin Neame
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 18 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Angus Crichton


  • Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Scott Drinkwater
    Replacement for Roosters is number 20 Lachlan Lam

Match Officials

  • Referee: Gerard Sutton
  • Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins

Last updated:

Paul Momirovski and Joey Manu retain their place as the centre pairing, with both coming off impressive performances against Souths. 

Sam Walker and Luke Keary continue their combination in the halves, while Siosiua Taukeiaho, Watson and Lindsay Collins line up in the front row.

The starting side is rounded off with Nat Butcher, Sitili Tupouniua and Victor Radley in the back row.

Hutchison, Suluka-Fifita, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Angus Crichton make up the interchange bench, with Naufahu Whyte named at 18th man.

The extended bench features Renouf Atoni, Lachlan Lam, Freddy Lussick, Kevin Naiqama, Adam Keighran and Tuku Hau Tapuha.

North Queensland have announced the same side that piled on the points against the Broncos last weekend, one that features plenty of danger across the park with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Valentine Holmes and Jason Taumalolo. 

Key Match Up: Luke Keary vs Chad Townsend

The two sheriffs in town will be battling it out to guide their side to victory on Saturday night when halfbacks Luke Keary and Chad Townsend stand off.

Both no.7s have come into season 2022 fresh with Keary returning from an ACL rupture and Townsend joining the Cowboys after five and a half years at Cronulla and a brief stint at the Warriors. 

Keary and Townsend have both tasted Premiership success and are now in their thirties, and have been tasked with guiding young halves partners in Sam Walker and Tom Dearden respectively. 

With a similar temperament and commanding hand, Keary and Townsend will play a significant role in who takes the two competition points. 

What They Said 

“We’ll have a closer look at them, but I’m sure it’ll be tough. It’ll be 35 degrees up there, so that’s going to be tough as well.

“It’s always exciting – I remember playing there last year a few times when we were in Queensland. It’s a cracking field, it’s warm and it’s always a hardish, fast ground so it’s a good place to play footy." - Victor Radley

Radley: "We've Got to Stick Together and Work Hard"

Your Verdict

Easts and North Queensland clash once again on Saturday night - and it will certainly be one to watch with the battle-hardened Roosters take on a Cowboys outfit brimming with confidence following a big win. 

The Red, White and Blue have a prime opportunity to get their season back on track against a tough opponent in their own backyard, and judging by the last few encounters, they'll be in pole position to claim the two competition points on Saturday night. 

For those looking to make the trip to the Sunshine State, be sure to grab your tickets here and cheer on the mighty Tricolours at Queensland Country Bank Stadium!



Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.