Cowboys have the Broncos in sight
Green named an unchanged line- up from the side which defeated the Eels in his side’s biggest win of the season, although centre Justin O’Neill will require scans after taking a knock to his knee.
The 24- year- old was taken off at the 70- minute mark as a precaution when North Queensland were leading by 30 points.
The Cowboys coach said he was split between naming Kyle Feldt or debutant Javid Bowen on the North Queensland wing if O’Neill was deemed not fit to play.
The match will take on special significance, with cocaptain Scott ( 200th Cowboys game) and fullback Lachlan Coote ( 100th NRL game) both playing in milestone matches. IPSWICH Jets co- coaches Ben and Shane Walker will apply for the Newcastle post in a move that would bring their radical tactical approach to the structured world of the NRL.
The Walker brothers have expressed interest in the Knights job, adamant they are ready for the NRL after a fiveyear apprenticeship in the Intrust Super Cup.
The Knights hierarchy is hunting a long- term option after the sacking of Rick Stone on Monday, with former Dragons coach Nathan Brown once again linked with an NRL resurrection in Newcastle.
But the Walker duo have emerged as a left- field option after transforming the embattled Jets into a powerhouse in Queensland’s premier competition.
The Walkers believe their unique methods are perfectly suited to Newcastle.
“We could bring a refreshing style to the NRL,” Ben said. THE Cowboys are gunning for the minor premiership most believe Brisbane have wrapped up, and North Queensland’s easier run home could actually see them run big brother over.
The Cowboys are unbeaten since Round 3 with Johnathan Thurston in their team.
They racked up their highest winning margin of the season against Parramatta on Monday night, thrashing them 46- 4 in Townsville.
That win left the Cowboys just two competition points adrift of the Broncos, who have amassed 34 points from 15 wins so far this year and are regarded as heavy favourites to top the table at season’s end.
However, the Cowboys draw should actually see them finish ahead of Brisbane.
The Cowboys’ end- of- season run sees them play teams they will be heavy favourites to beat including New Zealand, Cronulla, Canberra and the Gold Coast Titans.
The Broncos’ run home is as tough as it gets. In their last five rounds they face Canterbury, St George Illawarra, Sydney, South Sydney and Melbourne.
The issue for the Cowboys’ minor premiership pursuit is they are 81 points behind Brisbane in for and against.
They will have to continue thrashing teams, as being level on wins with Brisbane will still see them finish second.
“Everyone wants to first,” Thurston said asked about the premiership.
“We are getting better each week, and that is what we are focusing on.”
The Cowboys now have the majority of their players in form.
Lock Jason Taumalolo had his best performance of the season against Parramatta in a two- try star turn.
Taumalolo revealed after the game his knee injury is still a concern and he may be forced out of New Zealand’s tour of England in November.
Taumalolo could even need surgery post- season.
“I am hoping it will hold up for the rest of the year,” Taumalolo said.
There are injury doubts over North Queensland centre Justin O’Neill ahead of the Cowboys home game against Canberra on Saturday night.
“Justin O’Neill is a bit of an injury concern with a bang on his knee but he should be OK,” coach Paul Green said.
“He will get a scan but it is only precautionary.” finish when minor
TOUCHDOWN: Gavin Cooper congratulates teammate Kane Linnett on his try during North Queensland’s comprehensive
victory over Parramatta on Monday night.