It’s a wooden spoon battle as the Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys in Johnathan Thurston’s last game in Townsville. Join The Roar from 7:55pm (AEST) for live coverage of the match.
Following 16 seasons in first grade, Johnathan Thurston will retire having played over 300 games, winning two premierships and representing Australia and Queensland.
Yet the Cowboys skipper will play his final home game in Townsville against Parra in a match that may well decide the wooden spoon, with North Queensland narrowly behind the Eels, in 16th position, based on for-and-against.
The home side are coming off the back of a 28-16 loss at the hands of the Sharks. However, they welcome back star forwards Matthew Scott and Jason Taumalolo, seeing Scott Bolton and John Asiata relegated to the bench.
JT has helped spark a late turnaround, finding form in recent weeks after a slow start to the 2018 season.
As for the Eels, last week they went down 20-4 to the first-placed Storm in a spirited performance. Parramatta can take confidence out of the game with their backline and halves hitting the right note.
However, this week they lose the injured Nathan Brown, prompting Brad Arthur to move Peni Terepo to lock. Kane Evans will start at prop, with Tepai Moeroa playing in the back row, while Tim Mannah, Cameron King and Brad Takairangi will all come off the bench.
The Eels have traditionally struggled in Townsville, winning six games from 16 fixtures at 1300Smiles Stadium. Overall they hold 20 wins compared to the Cowboys’ 16 victories, winning 20-14 in the Top End back in Round 14 of this year.
Johnathan Thurston will experience one last hurrah in Townsville, putting the Eels in wooden spoon strife.
Cowboys by 4.
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Article link: North Queensland Cowboys vs Parramatta Eels Highlights: NRL scores, blog. Written by Riley Pettigrew, on The Roar - Your Sports Opinion.
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