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Warriors v Cowboys: Fusitu'a out; Taumalolo returns

The impressive NRL debut of Reece Walsh is small comfort for a Warriors side dealing with a mounting injury tally while preparing to face the resurgent Cowboys. 

The New Zealand side's starting line-up in the heavy loss to Melbourne looked like it had been put together by Doctor Frankenstein with gun No.1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on the wing and back-rower Bayley Sironen in the halves.

Walsh was a standout in the 22-point drubbing, engineering a brace of late tries for winger Ken Maumalo, and this week he'll be closer to the action at No.6 with RTS reverting to fullback.

Todd Payten's men have won three on the bounce after a difficult opening month of the season, including a confidence-boosting victory in Canberra over recent grand finalists the Raiders last time out. 

Warriors v Cowboys

The rundown

Team news

Warriors: David Fusitu'a is out of the side, with Edward Kosi (No.23) to make his NRL debut on the wing. Apart from that the side is 1-17 with Sean O'Sullivan the 18th man.

Josh Curran will take his place in the side after successfully arguing for a downgrade on a careless high tackle at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday. Tohu Harris and Adam Pompey return from injury.

Jack Murchie, Tom Ale and Taniela Otukolo dropped off the reserves list 24 hours before kick-off.

The Warriors have won three of their past four games against the Cowboys.

Cowboys: North Queensland will start 1-17 with Javid Bowen the 18th man.

Powerhouse forward Jason Taumalolo (hand) came through a contact session on Thursday and will return.

Tom Gilbert and Jake Clifford dropped off the reserves list on Saturday.

The Cowboys are aiming for four consecutive wins for the first time since 2017.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine Holmes
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Adam Pompey
    Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Justin O'Neill
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Rocco Berry
    Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Connelly Lemuelu
  • Winger for Warriors is number 23 Edward Kosi
    Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Reece Walsh
    Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Kodi Nikorima
    Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Ben Hampton

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
    Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Coen Hess
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Wayde Egan
    Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Kane Evans
    Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLean
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Josh Curran
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Ben Murdoch-Masila
    2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Ben Condon
  • Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu Harris
    Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Leeson Ah Mau
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 Lachlan Burr
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 16 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Francis Molo
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Bayley Sironen
    Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Corey Jensen

Reserves

  • Reserve for Warriors is number 20 Sean O'Sullivan
    Reserve for Cowboys is number 19 Javid Bowen

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Kodi Nikorima v Ben Hampton: Two of the competition's lower-profile No.7s continue to battle for acceptance as NRL playmakers. Nikorima has shouldered most of the burden of compensating for the early season loss of Chanel Harris-Tavita easier to absorb while Hampton is playing well for a team that's won three in a row.

Stat attack

An 89 per cent completion rate last weekend really helped the Cowboys. And an impressive 147 run metres from bench forward Francis Molo provided a great boost during the middle stages of the match.

 

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