The Canberra Raiders travel north this weekend to take on the Cowboys in round two on Saturday night at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
The Raiders will look to start the season with back to back wins after defeating the Sharks in a thriller at home on Friday. However, the Cowboys will be hungry to get their first win of the year following a narrow 6-4 loss to Bulldogs in round one.
Unfortunately for Canberra, they have been dealt a double blow for the match with veteran hooker Josh Hodgson out for 2-3 weeks with a cartilage injury to his knee and rookie halfback Brad Schneider being moved onto the COVID isolation list after returning a positive Rapid Antigen test.
Matt Frawley will be brought up from NSW Cup to replace Schneider and Adrian Trevilyan will make his NRL debut off the bench as a backup hooker with Tom Starling moving into the starting number nine jersey.
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Hamiso Tabuai-FidowFullback for Raiders is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Raiders is number 5 James Schiller
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine HolmesCentre for Raiders is number 3 Matthew Timoko
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta HikuCentre for Raiders is number 4 Semi Valemei
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray TaulagiWinger for Raiders is number 19 Sebastian Kris
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom DeardenFive-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Jack Wighton
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Raiders is number 7 Matt Frawley
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Jordan McLeanProp for Raiders is number 8 Josh Papalii
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece RobsonHooker for Raiders is number 9 Tom Starling
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Coen HessProp for Raiders is number 10 Joseph Tapine
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Tom Gilbert2nd Row for Raiders is number 11 Hudson Young
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Corey Harawira-Naera
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason TaumaloloLock for Raiders is number 13 Elliott Whitehead
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake GranvilleInterchange for Raiders is number 14 Adrian Trevilyan
Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Heilum LukiInterchange for Raiders is number 15 Emre Guler
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Mitchell DunnInterchange for Raiders is number 16 Adam Elliott
Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Griffin NeameInterchange for Raiders is number 17 Corey Horsburgh
Replacement for Cowboys is number 19 Scott DrinkwaterReplacement for Raiders is number 18 Xavier Savage
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Last Time They Met
The Raiders were narrowly defeated by the Cowboys 26-24 in round seven last season.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad v Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
A couple of electrifying fullbacks will be going head to head in round two at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with both of them hoping to split the game open with their strike weapon; speed.
Nicoll-Klokstad is coming off the back of a stellar performance in round one against the Sharks, where the Kiwi talent ran for 137 metres and scored a first half try.
Tabuai-Fidow also had an impressive game in the opening round of the season with four tackle breaks and 134 running metres.
These two will definitely be looking to inject energy for their respective teams and get their sides in the best field position off kick returns.
Joseph Tapine v Jason Taumalolo
These two New Zealand-born forwards are two of the most damaging players in the NRL and it will be something to see when they clash for 80 minutes on Saturday night in Townsville.
Tapine played a crucial role in Canberra’s victory over Cronulla at GIO Stadium on Friday night. He had 146 metres and four offloads in just 44 minutes.
Taumalolo wasn’t at his usual best in round one but that will just be added motivation for the former Dally M winner to get back on track. The Raiders will have to be at their best defensively if they want to keep this wrecking ball out of the game.
Valentine Holmes v Matthew Timoko
Matthew Timoko played a big role in the match-winning try in round one, with a great pass to Hudson Young for the 75th minute try. Timoko ran for 85 metres and proved hard to tackle with eight tackle breaks.
His possible opposing centre Valentine Holmes has always been a tough player to handle too and had a solid outing against the Bulldogs in round one. The Queensland representative had 104 metres for the game and seemed elusive the few times he swooped into dummy half.
After strong performances in the opening round, both Holmes and Timoko will want to help steer their side to victory in any way possible.
Head to Head
The Raiders and Cowboys have faced off 41 times since 1998 and Canberra have the upper hand, winning 21 of them to North Queensland’s 20.