Sat, Jul 16, 3:36pm by Kevin Pitstock
There weren’t too many tipsters getting on the Cowboys last week as they upset the Knights at Ausgrid stadium without super star Johnathan Thurston. They were the surprise victors with a 22-12 score line, though much of the match was locked up at 6-6 and 12-12. They will be hosting the Tigers who had young Centre Chris Lawrence return from his hip injury well ahead of schedule. There will be more on Lawrence below as his game had positives and negatives and will be a deciding factor in this encounter. The Tigers could not finish off good attacking opportunities against the Eels and ended up getting clobbered 22-6.
The 2005 Grand Final rematch will be played up in North QLD, and with the recent cold weather down south I’m sure the Tigers will be happy to travel up to the sunshine state. Last time they met the Tigers got up 26-16 at home, and last time they played at Dairy Farmers it was the Tigers again with a 23-16 win.
Cowboys Preview – WLWLW
So the Cowboys were able to get across the line without Thurston. This is a very rare occasion for the Cowboys and had they have lost they would probably have lost the next 5 weeks they will have without him. This win has done more for their confidence than a win over the Dragons with Thurston would have earlier in the season. This win was absolutely crucial to their success and I can’t stress how good it is for them.
They have some easy games ahead with Thurston due back in round 25. In this period they will come up against the Titans, Bulldogs and Souths. So if they can beat the Tigers come Saturday there is no reason they can’t win the other 3 and maintain a winning record.
They will need to play better than last week if they are any chance of getting over the Tigers. The Knights were so unlucky to not blow the Cowboys off the park as they dominated them for most of the match. Some steely defence and some poor last play options was enough to see them get the better of the opposition.
Tigers Preview – WWLLL
Last week the Tigers were seemingly hammered by the Eels, well that’s what you see when you look at the score board. In reality there was a few opportunities that did not convert to points or good field position, and had they have done so it could have easily been a different result. What springs to mind is a few poor passes that did not find the mark.
As mentioned above, Lawrence made an early return from a terrible hip injury suffered about 3 months ago that was meant to be his season and possibly his career. His ability to rehabilitate is amazing and show true character. This shows on the field with his strength and speed picking up right where it left off. The only issue with his game has his timing and his ability to keep up with play. This is something that would have been worked on during the week with Sheens and he will be up to speed come Saturday night. Last time they played at Dairy Farmers Lawrence was the hero for the Tigers with 2 tries, 1 line break and no missed tackles on his side of the field.
This is another tight one for the weekend, and with the Tigers getting up it means that good odds are to be had. The Tigers have managed just 2 wins away from home this year and the Cowboys have won 7 of their 8 at home, but this means little when missing Thurston, they will be outplayed and outclassed.
The Tigers are surprisingly short in this one, paying $1.69 for H2H win. Last week the Cowboys could match it with the Knights for most of the game, the Tigers won’t allow this and will get up by 7 or more which is $2.35.
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