The One New Zealand Warriors and Cowboys lock horns on looking to bounce back after losses in round six.
It's just the second time in the opening seven rounds that the One New Zealand Warriors haven't played away from home with a rugged travel schedule taking them to Wellington, Sydney, Townsville, Sydney and Newcastle.
In their only other game in Auckland this season they edged past the Bulldogs 16-14 and they'll be keen to make Mount Smart a fortress after three years away from their home base during the Covid pandemic.
The Cowboys failed to make the most of their home ground advantage on Good Friday, suffering a 22-32 loss to the Dolphins at Queensland Country Bank Stadium to slip to 2-4 on the season
Just a month ago these two sides met in Townsville and it was the vastly improved One New Zealand Warriors outfit coming away with a 26-12 victory on the back of five-star showings from playmakers Shaun Johnson and Te Maire Martin.
Now in his 13th season in the NRL, Johnson is running and stunning with the best of them, laying on six try assists and seven line break assists in a stellar start to the campaign.
If the Warriors' forwards gain the ascendancy on home soil and lay a platform for Johnson then the 32-year-old will prove a real handful for a Cowboys outfit conceding 25 points per game.
Match: Warriors v Cowboys
Round 7 -
Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Charnze Nicoll-KlokstadFullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott Drinkwater
Winger for Warriors is number 2 Edward KosiWinger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
Centre for Warriors is number 4 Adam PompeyCentre for Cowboys is number 3 Valentine Holmes
Centre for Warriors is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaCentre for Cowboys is number 4 Peta Hiku
Winger for Warriors is number 18 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Cowboys is number 5 Murray Taulagi
Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Dylan WalkerFive-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Tom Dearden
Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Shaun JohnsonHalfback for Cowboys is number 7 Chad Townsend
Prop for Warriors is number 8 Addin Fonua-BlakeProp for Cowboys is number 11 Coen Hess
Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Freddy LussickHooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
Prop for Warriors is number 16 Jazz TevagaProp for Cowboys is number 14 Jake Granville
2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Jackson Ford2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Jeremiah Nanai
2nd Row for Warriors is number 15 Josh Curran2nd Row for Cowboys is number 18 Jack Gosiewski
Lock for Warriors is number 13 Tohu HarrisLock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
Interchange for Warriors is number 10 Bunty AfoaInterchange for Cowboys is number 8 Mitchell Dunn
Interchange for Warriors is number 12 Bayley SironenInterchange for Cowboys is number 10 Reuben Cotter
Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Taine TuaupikiInterchange for Cowboys is number 15 Tom Chester
Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Tom AleInterchange for Cowboys is number 16 Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
Replacement for Warriors is number 21 Demitric SifakulaReplacement for Cowboys is number 17 Riley Price
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
One New Zealand Warriors: Coach Andrew Webster declared on Friday that skipper Tohu Harris will make a return from a knee injury after two false starts. Jazz Tevaga could spend some time at hooker with Wayde Egan (concussion) ruled out and Freddy Lussick called in. There were no changes in the 24-hour update.
Cowboys: Murray Taulagi has been named in a boost for Todd Payten's side as he makes an early return from injury. Taulagi returns on the wing and Brendan Elliot drops out of the side. Jeremiah Nanai is also back from suspension with Ben Hampton and Jack Gosiewski remaining in the reserves. No changes in Friday's update.
- The Warriors have won three of their past four games in New Zealand.
- The Cowboys will play in New Zealand for the first time since 2019.
- Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya has scored five tries in five games against the Cowboys.
- Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt has scored 13 tries in 12 games against the Warriors.
- Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson requires two points for 500 points at Mount Smart Stadium.
Stats supplied by David Middleton, League Information Services, author of the official annual of the NRL.