What: NRL Round 3
Who: Cowboys v Warriors
When: Saturday, March 22 – 8.00PM (QLD Time)
Where: 1300SMILES Stadium
I Can Watch It On: Fox Sports
Things You Need To Know: Notoriously strong at home, the Cowboys will be coming into the match looking to bounce back from their disappointing Round 2 loss against neighbours Brisbane Broncos. The Warriors will be searching for some form following two big losses to start the season, both against slightly lacklustre line-ups of the Dragons and Eels. Cowboys’ enforcer Tariq Sims moves into the starting line-up, while Glenn Hall shifts back to the bench. The Warriors receive a massive boost in the return of rampaging winger Manu Vatuvei, while Sione Lousi joins the bench. Konrad Hurrell wears the number 18 jersey with Ben Henry (knee, round 10) and David Fusitua out of the side.
Reason To Watch: The Shaun Johnson factor. After a quiet start to the season, dynamic half-back Johnson is due to deliver one of his memorable standout performances for the Warriors this week. Johnsons attack leaves players, and spectators, speechless. His impact can be just what the Warriors need to overcome their losing ways. However, it really is going to have a standout performance, as the Cowboys at home are going to be one monstrous task to overcome
Reason To Turn Away: If you’re a NSW fan, the only thing you will take out of this game is seeing two rampaging, rival forward packs tearing shreds out of each other. Furthermore, there is also the fact that there will be some serious cross-town talent on display, with high-profile outsiders Johnathan Thurston, Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins all displaying their immense talent, that sadly, will never grace a New South Wales origin team.
Say What: “Shaun Johnson is a freak. He’s the reason why people come through the gates and if we are 5 or 10 per cent off our game, he will make sure we get beaten again.” – Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston as he prepares for his much anticipated duel with Shaun Johnson.
Final Word: Shaping up to be an absolute cracker of a match between two very exciting attacks, the X-Factors from each side are going to play a massive part in their team’s performance. Players like brutal forward Jason Taumalolo, who has been in remarkable form this season, and hard hitting back-rower Tariq Sims are going to have to do the dirty work in the middle for the Cowboys. Warrior’s marquee men Shaun Johnson and Sam Tomkins will need to link together, using their influence in attack to give their team a chance. Slightly favouring the Cowboys, with a home ground advantage and some steady on-field form they are looking just too tough for the Warriors, who will be playing their first game in North Queensland since Round 23, 2012.