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NRLW Match Preview: Raiders v Cowboys

The Raiders will continue their surge towards the top four as they take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Sunday morning.

After falling out of the top four with the loss to the Knights last weekend, the Raiders will be hoping to reclaim their spot as they travel to the Gold Coast to take on the Cowboys.

Only two weeks remain in the regular NRLW season, so a win against the Cowboys will be a crucial step towards a finals berth.

The Cowboys have dropped to ninth on the table after three consecutive losses in previous weeks but have introduced a host of rookies who will look to find their feet in the coming weeks.

The Raiders sit one win away from third-placed Titans, etching ever so close to a finals appearance in their inaugural NRLW season.

Averaging 19 points per game, the Raiders halves duo of Zahara Temara and Ashley Quinlan will look to strike once again in the sunshine state on Sunday morning with the game set to kick off at 11:30 am.

Darrin Borthwick’s side has seen some changes this week as Emma Barnes returns from a jaw injury in the 14 jumper, with Ahlivia Ingram and Tara Reinke also named on the bench.

The Cowboys’ Makenzie Weale will miss this match due to suspension, with April Ngatupuna named at prop this weekend.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Francesca Goldthorp
    Fullback for Raiders is number 1 Apii Nicholls
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Vitalina Naikore
    Winger for Raiders is number 2 Madison Bartlett
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Jasmine Peters
    Centre for Raiders is number 3 Cheyelle Robins-Reti
  • Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Shellie Long
    Centre for Raiders is number 4 Mackenzie Wiki
  • Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Krystal Blackwell
    Winger for Raiders is number 5 Shakiah Tungai
  • Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tahlulah Tillett
    Five-Eighth for Raiders is number 6 Zahara Temara
  • Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Kirra Dibb
    Halfback for Raiders is number 7 Ashleigh Quinlan


  • Prop for Cowboys is number 15 Sera Koroi
    Prop for Raiders is number 10 Sophie Holyman
  • Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Emma Manzelmann
    Hooker for Raiders is number 9 Chanté Temara
  • Prop for Cowboys is number 22 April Ngatupuna
    Prop for Raiders is number 22 Tommaya Kelly-Sines
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Bree Chester
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 12 Hollie-Mae Dodd
  • 2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Tiana Raftstrand-Smith
    2nd Row for Raiders is number 20 Monalisa Soliola
  • Lock for Cowboys is number 13 China Polata
    Lock for Raiders is number 13 Simaima Taufa


  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 8 Tallisha Harden
    Interchange for Raiders is number 8 Grace Kemp
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jetaya Faifua
    Interchange for Raiders is number 14 Emma Barnes
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Lily Peacock
    Interchange for Raiders is number 16 Kerehitina Matua
  • Interchange for Cowboys is number 21 Jessikah Reeves
    Interchange for Raiders is number 17 Tara Reinke


  • Replacement for Cowboys is number 18 Mia Middleton
    Replacement for Raiders is number 21 Jessica Gentle

Match Officials

  • Referee: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Kasey Badger

Last updated:

Key Match-Ups

Apii Nicholls v Francesca Goldthorp

International pedigree is on display this weekend as Kiwi fullback Apii Nicholls goes up against England international Francesca Goldthorp.

Nicholls has been as creative and impactful as ever for the Raiders this season as she plies her trade at fullback.

Having played for the Titans and Warriors in previous seasons, her experience and composure in attack and defence have been instrumental to closing out the Raiders tight wins.

Opposite her is Goldthorp who is one of three English representatives in the NRLW this season.

A marquee signing for the Cowboys, Goldthorp has been gifted a taste of the NRLW competition following her stellar performances during the Rugby League World Cup last year.

Zahara Temara v Kirra Dibb

Two experienced halves of Kirra Dibb and Zahara Temara will be on display and hoping to put on a show for their respective sides this weekend.

Temara has been the pivot for the Raiders with her leadership qualities shining through on her teammates week on week.

The premiership winner’s work rate and goal kicking this season have helped the Raiders to an outstanding campaign so far this season.

Another former Rooster in Dibb has also taken the reigns for her respective team, with five try assists and more than 300 receipts this season for the Cowboys.

Chanté Temara v Emma Manzelmann

Despite their youthfulness, Emma Manzelmann and Chanté Temara are taking part in their third year of the competition.

Temara’s explosivity and grit in defence make her an unstoppable force around the ruck, scoring a try herself earlier this season.

The emerging hooker, who is the younger sister of Zahara, adds important chemistry to the Raiders spine and is a major reason for their success so far this season.

Another young gun that is making her name known is Manzelmann who is a new addition to the Cowboys this season.

Manzelmann was the inaugural signing for the Cowboys this year, with her dynamic style of play making her a valuable member of the team.

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders 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.