After rare and consecutive away wins over the Sharks and Bulldogs in rounds 20 and 21 respec-tively, the Cowboys kept the ball rolling last with a dominant 28 – 8 win over the hapless Gold Coast Titans.
It was the Cowboys eighth win from nine games on their home-ground this year and continued their recent record of scoring plenty of points. Even when on the losing side of the score-line, the Cowboys have registered at least 20 points per game in the past six weeks.
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For the first time in seven weeks Cowboys winger Antonio Winterstein failed to cross for a try against the Titans but Kane Linnett and Captain Johnathan Thurston increased their season tally to eight and nine respectively, scoring one apiece.
The Cowboys have built some nice momentum at the right time of year and with a superior for and against, find themselves in seventh spot on the ladder.
With the return of Matt Scott and Gavin Cooper to the squad last week, the Cowboys are now largely injury free and with three of their final five games to played at home, well placed heading into the finals.
The West Tigers suffered their fourth loss from their past five matches when, despite getting off to a good start and scoring first, they were defeated by the Storm last Monday night 28 – 6.
Worryingly for the Tigers, they again failed to find a way to break their opponent’s defences. Their surprise win over Canterbury in round 19 aside, the Tigers have only managed to surpass 12 points once in their past six matches.
The Tigers remain on 22 competition points and whilst that’s only one win behind their seventh placed opponents this week, they need to win each of their remaining five matches, which includes clashes against Canterbury and the Storm, to stay in the finals’ hunt.
Their current form combined with the off-field drama that continues to shadow the club, would make that highly unlikely.
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HEAD TO HEAD
The two sides have taken it in turns of winning the past four matches played and not surprisingly, the result has always favoured the home-side.
When the two sides met in round 6 this year the Tigers won 16 – 4. It was the Tigers fourth win from their first six games of the year but their form since then, and especially over the last month, has fallen away considerably.
On the other side of the coin, the Cowboys are improving and with a full strength squad at home, will win this one well.
The last two games played at Townsville have produced total match points of 45 and 77. With the Cowboys attack ticking over nicely at the moment, the match line of 43.5 looks achievable.
Cowboys: Michael Morgan, Tautau Moga, Matthew Wright, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Robert Lui, Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott, Rory Kostjasyn, Ashton Sims, Tariq Sims, Jason Taumalolo, Glenn Hall. Interchange: Ray Thompson, Scott Bolton, Gavin Cooper, Sam Hoare, John Asiata
Ins: John Asiata. Outs: None
Tigers: Mitchell Moses, Keith Lulia, Tim Simona, Bodene Thompson, Pat Richards, Blake Austin, Luke Brooks, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Curtis Sironen, Dene Halatau, Adam Blair. Interchange: Ava Seumanufagai, Martin Taupau, Sauaso Sue, James Gavet
Ins: Luke Brooks. Outs: Sitaleki Akauola