Cowboys v Eels, Round 24 Match Preview
The Parramatta Eels take on the North Queensland Cowboys at 1300Smiles Stadium on Friday 24 August from 7:55pm in Round 24 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.
Blue & Gold Head Coach Brad Arthur welcomes back Kane Evans into the run on team, having dealt with his calf injury.
Peni Terepo is named to start at lock for the injured Nathan Brown, who is nursing a knee injury. Cameron King comes on the bench.
Last week's debutants Oregon Kaufusi and Ray Stone are named in the reserves with Josh Hoffman and Bevan French.
For the Cowboys, it's a monumental occasion as Johnathan Thurston plays his last NRL match in Townsville.
Matt Scott plays his 250th NRL game and Jake Granville reaches 100 NRL matches for North Queensland.
They get Jason Taumalolo back from a one-week suspension to play at lock.
Both teams met in Darwin back in Round 14, when the Eels came away with a 20-14 win.
Jarryd Hayne scored two tries on return from injury. Both Michael and George Jennings nabbed a try.
Parramatta has won four of their last nine games, which goes back to and includes the Round 14 win against the Cowboys. North Queensland has won two of their last nine games.
A win or draw is needed by the Eels to keep North Queensland below them on the ladder.
Arthur labelled that game in his post game press conference in Round 22, a 40-4 win against the St. George Illawarra Dragons, as the time Parramatta became consistent.
No team in the NRL since Round 16 has conceded less points to their opposition than the Eels.
This clash will kick off at 7:55pm Friday. Click through to get your tickets!
Cowboys: 1 Te Maire Martin, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O'Neill, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Gideon Gela-Mosby, 6 Jake Clifford, 7 Johnathan Thurston, 8 Matthew Scott, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 John Asiata, 16 Francis Molo, 17 Scott Bolton
Reserves: 18 Ethan Lowe, 19 Javid Bowen, 20 Shaun Fensom, 21 Corey Jensen
Matt Scott returns at prop and Jason Taumalolo at lock, pushing Scott Bolton and John Asiata to the bench with Ethan Lowe and Corey Jensen dropping to the reserves.
Eels: 1 Corey Norman, 2 Jarryd Hayne, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Clinton Gutherson (c), 5 George Jennings, 6 Jaeman Salmon, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Kane Evans, 9 Reed Mahoney, 10 Siosaia Vave, 11 Marata Niukore, 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Peni Terepo
Interchange: 14 Cameron King, 15 Tim Mannah (c), 16 David Gower, 17 Brad Takairangi
Reserves: 18 Ray Stone, 19 Oregon Kaufusi, 20 Josh Hoffman, 21 Bevan French
Lock Nathan Brown is out injured with Peni Terepo promoted to the run-on side. Kane Evans returns at prop and Tim Mannah and Cameron King return on the bench. Tepai Moeroa shifts to second row, Brad Takairangi drops to the bench and last week's two debutants, Ray Stone and Oregon Kaufusi, drop to the reserves.
Head-to-head: Played 39; Eels 20 wins, Cowboys 18 wins, 1 draw
Previous result: Eels won 20-14 in Round 14 at TIO Stadium, Darwin
Matches at venue: Played 16; North Queensland 9, Parramatta 6, 1 draw
Points per game: Cowboys 17; Eels 16.3
Points conceded per game: Cowboys 22.2; Eels 21
Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League
Radio: ABC, 2GB