Watch Wests Tigers vs NQ Cowboys Live Stream - Sunday 11 April 08:05

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Sunday 11 April 08:05

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NRL ROUND 5

WESTS TIGERS VS NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

SUNDAY APRIL 11, 4.05 PM, LEICHHARDT OVAL, SYDNEY

Balmain locals will be excited to see the NRL return to Leichhardt for the first time this season, as the 2005 Grand Finalists do battle in what should be an interesting Sunday afternoon clash, with plenty on the line.  The Cowboys have had a dreadful start to their 2021 season, after a failed 2020 campaign, and haven’t looked like winning yet, while they had further terrible news that long-time star and former captain Mike Morgan has announced his retirement due to shoulder issues.  Wests had a tough start themselves to their 2021 season, but breathed some life into it after winning against Newcastle in round 3 and were competitive against highflying Parramatta on Easter Monday.  Apart from a strong north-easterly breeze ideal conditions are forecast for the Balmain area on Sunday, with cool temperatures topping out in the mid-teens and blue skies, setting up a lovely picture when imagining this game.

The Cowboys do have some good news after a dark few weeks, as superstar rampaging forward Jason Taumalolo is set to return from his broken hand, boosting their go-forward no end.  Cotter is a chance of playing too, after a concussion kept him out of the last game, he would be a bench inclusion, probably at the expense of Burr or if a total reshuffle happens Condon.  O’Neill is out, as another of the concussion sufferers from the last game against Cronulla, though Feldt returns and Taulagi must pass his own concussion protocols, meaning there could be rearranging of the backs also.  Wests are moving M’Bye to the centres in order to try and get him more game-time, while Talau moves to the wing and Kepaoa is left out; Chee Kam is on the bench.

Wests have been quietly building a strong record against the Cowboys, which is all too common in the league currently, as they have won the past 4 games between the clubs, who played in the Grand Final where the Benji flick pass became famous.  Out at Campbelltown, the rut started early for the Cowboys in 2020, as Musgrove a middle forward scored in the first minute, and the 34-0 halftime score meant that the Cowboys surge of 4 tries in 23 minutes in the second stanza meant nothing.  Wests are $1.28 deserved favourites for this game, with a 10.5-point margin handicap, giving the Cowboys odds of $3.75, which is fair, but there is a chance the Cowboys start to improve, and this game is ripe for opportunity if they are ready.

PREDICITON: Wests by 4 or 6, expect a big improvement from the Cowboys, especially if Taumalolo is ready to play like he can.

BETTING TIP: $2.75 is ok odds for the Tigers to win by 1-12, Tigers fans will expect better.

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