Watch Free NRL St. George Illawarra vs North Queensland Cowboys Live Streaming National Rugby League 2017. St. George Illawarra vs North Queensland Cowboys match will be kick off at WIN Stadium, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, Saturday 15 April 2017 online, Time 19:30 (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Nine, Fox Sports, FOX Sports 2 & FOX Soccer Plus,Premier Sports.
The Dragons are flying at the top of the table and will high on confidence after thumping the Sea Eagles 35-10 at Brookvale Oval last week. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are in deep trouble with injuries, none bigger than a calf injury to the inspirational Johnathan Thurston. Lachlan Coote, Jake Granville, Antonio Winterstein, Shaun Fensom and Matt Scott are other notable absentees from the Cowboys best 17. Ben Hampton has been named in the Cowboys No.7 jersey and will have some big boots to fill. The Dragons have named the same 17 which defeated the Sea Eagles.
The St George Illawarra Dragons and the North Queensland Cowboys are over-achieving in 2017 in different ways. Few tipped the Dragons to be a force in the competition this year and they’re sitting at the top of the Telstra Premiership ladder, while the Cowboys have been hit hard with injuries but have scraped out four wins from six games.
Both teams have suffered key injuries in the last two weeks, with the Dragons losing Josh Dugan in Round 5 while the Cowboys lost Johnathan Thurston last week. As for who is the bigger loss, it would have to be Thurston given the Cowboys’ already strung-out spine.
The Cowboys have named debutant Corey Jensen on the bench this week, while Blake Leary, who was recently playing for the Townsville Blackhawks and serving drinks before being called up last week, will be starting at hooker.
Ben Hampton will deputise for Thurston at halfback, while regular fullback Lachlan Coote is also still out with a calf injury. Justin O’Neill also returns at centre for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys have won 9 of the last 14 against the Dragons including 3 of the last 4 in Wollongong. Thurston has missed three of those last 14 matches and it needs to be factored in here. Both teams shared the spoils in 2016, with the Dragons shutout 36-0 in the Round 5 clash at Townsville, while the Dragons won the Round 12 clash at Wollongong 14-10 against the Thurston-less Cowboys. Six of the last eight matches between the sides have tallied 38 points or fewer.
St George Illawarra are the surprise packets of 2017, incredibly leading the NRL in attack with 27.17ppg. The Dragons are second on the ladder with a 5-1 record. North Queensland, conversely, have been arguably the biggest disappointments of the year despite sitting fourth on the ladder with a 4-2 record. Home losses to Manly and the Wests Tigers have highlighted how much they are missing their go-forward.
St George Illawarra are 5-1 ATS with a 3-3 total record while North Queensland are 3-3 ATS with a 4-2 under number. The Cowboys have won 9 of the last 14 against the Dragons including 3 of the last 4 in Wollongong. Six of the last eight matches between the sides have tallied 38 points or fewer. The Saints are 8-5 ATS since 2014 in Wollongong with 10 of the 13 games going under. The Cowboys have covered just 2 of their last 9 interstate clashes.
The Dragons look good things here, but the Cowboys pack is still solid enough, with the rampaging Coen Hess and Jason Taumalolo in the side to keep it tighter than most expect. Thurston missed last year’s clash in Wollongong and the Dragons grinded out a 14-10 win. Dragons 1-12 is The Wolf’s best play.
Dragons: 1. Jason Nightingale 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Kurt Mann 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Josh McCrone 8. Russell Packer 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack De Belin. Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Hame Sele 17. Taane Milne 18. Blake Lawrie 19. Kalifa Faifai Loa 20. Luciano Leilua 21. Jacob Host.
Cowboys: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Kane Linnett 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby 6. Michael Morgan 7. Ben Hampton 8. Patrick Kaufusi 9. Blake Leary 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: 14. Ethan Lowe 15. John Asiata 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ben Spina 18. Sam Hoare 19. Enari Tuala 20. Javid Bowen 21. Braden Uele.