THE North Queensland Cowboys have had to work hard to earn the respect of their peers in the National Rugby League. Now, after a tough slog in the early years, they are regulars at the top end of the ladder.
Paul Green’s men captured hearts and minds all over Australia when they rallied from eighth on the ladder to reach the NRL Grand Final in 2017. They could not replicate that feat in 2018, however, slumping to 13th place in Johnathan Thurston’s farewell season.
Can North Queensland return to the finals frame this season? Let’s see what the bookies are saying.
About the North Queensland Cowboys
|Home ground:||1300SMILES Stadium|
|Premierships:||One – 2015|
|2018 ladder finish:||13th (8-16)|
Best bookies for North Queensland Cowboys betting
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Updated Cowboys futures odds
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|2019 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Dally M Odds|
|Feb||$13||$1.65||$3.60||J Taumalolo $23|
Best NQ Cowboys bets for NRL 2019
There are dozens of NRL futures markets for North Queensland, but where are they likely to return some real value?
Click on the tabs below to get more analysis on these markets:
- Not much went right for the Cowboys in 2018 as they slumped from grand finalists to the wrong end of the ladder. Now they face life after JT, although perhaps the great man’s retirement will leave room for others – notably Michael Morgan – to reach another level. Another fairytale run seems unlikely.
- North Queensland started slow last year and never quite recovered, but we know they have all the elements required to make an impact in the spring. Barring disaster, they should be pushing a spot in the top eight.
- Jason Taumalolo has won the club’s best and fairest three years running and remains a strong candidate for the Dally M Medal. Also have a look at Michael Morgan, who offers very good value on the back of a frustrating 2018.
2019 North Queensland Cowboys draw
|1||St George Illawarra Dragons||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, March 16||6:35pm|
|2||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Friday, March 22||6:55pm|
|3||Cronulla Sharks||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, March 30||4:30pm|
|4||Canberra Raiders||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, April 7||4:30pm|
|5||Melbourne Storm||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, April 12||7:55pm|
|6||New Zealand Warriors||Mt Smart Stadium||Saturday, April 20||5:30pm|
|7||Canterbury Bulldogs||ANZ Stadium||Friday, April 26||6pm|
|8||Gold Coast Titans||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, May 3||6pm|
|9||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Suncorp Stadium||Sunday, May 12||4:05pm|
|10||Parramatta Eels||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, May 18||5:30pm|
|11||Canberra Raiders||GIO Stadium||Saturday, May 25||3pm|
|12||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Sunday, June 2||4pm|
|13||Manly Sea Eagles||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, June 8||7:35pm|
|14||Wests Tigers||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, June 14||7:55pm|
|15||St George Illawarra Dragons||WIN Stadium||Friday, June 28||6pm|
|17||Sydney Roosters||Central Coast Stadium||Sunday, July 14||2pm|
|18||South Sydney Rabbitohs||1300SMILES Stadium||Saturday, July 20||7:35pm|
|19||Cronulla Sharks||Shark Park||Thursday, July 25||7:50pm|
|20||Wests Tigers||Leichhardt Oval||Thursday, August 1||7:50pm|
|21||Brisbane Broncos||1300SMILES Stadium||Thursday, August 8||7:50pm|
|22||Newcastle Knights||McDonald Jones Stadium||Saturday, August 17||3pm|
|23||Penrith Panthers||1300SMILES Stadium||Friday, August 23||6pm|
|24||Canterbury Bulldogs||1300SMILES Stadium||Thursday, August 29||7:50pm|
|25||Melbourne Storm||AAMI Park||Friday, September 6||7:55pm|
Cowboys players to watch in 2019
With JT retired, Taumalolo is the star attraction in Townsville these days. The 25-year-old Kiwi lock is aiming at four consecutive Paul Bowman Medal wins and will be there or thereabouts in Dally M reckoning if he stays out of trouble.
A stack of injury problems restricted Morgan to only 11 appearances last year. If he can get through preseason unscathed, there is every chance the Queensland rep will rediscover the kind of form that helped the Cowboys to the big dance in 2017.
Te Maire Martin
Position: Five-eighth, fullback
Martin has served as something of a fix-it man for the Cowboys, rotating between fullback, the halves and the interchange bench. The sacking of Ben Barba means we might see the Kiwi playmaker start the year in the No.1 jersey.
North Queensland Cowboys records and stats
- Most games: 294 – Johnathan Thurston
Most career points: 2182 – Johnathan Thurston
Most points in a season: 234 – Johnathan Thurston (2014)
Most career tries: 130 – Matthew Bowen
Most tries in a season: 22 – Matthew Bowen (2007)
Most points in a match: 24 – Johnathan Thurston (vs. Broncos 2006)
- Most consecutive wins: 11 (2015)
Most consecutive losses: 13 (2008)
Biggest winning margin: 64-6 (vs. Tigers, 2014)
Biggest losing margin: 0-62 (vs. Eels, 2001)
Largest home attendance: 30,302 (vs. Broncos, 2009)
- The story of the North Queensland Cowboys begins in the 1980s with the growing influence of regional teams in the statewide competition. Plans for a team based in Townsville were hatched soon after the Brisbane Broncos were granted admission into the NSWRL in 1988. Years of campaigning bore fruit in 1992, when it was announced that the Cowboys would join the newly created Australian Rugby League in 1995.
Those were tumultuous years for even the most established Sydney clubs, let alone a rag-tag pack of underdogs from the tropical north. The Cowboys went through no fewer than eight captains in their first two seasons as they struggled for stability both on and off the field. Whereas some clubs (read Melbourne Storm) took to the NRL like ducks to water, it was not until 2004 that North Queensland managed to qualify for finals.
That upward trend continued with the landmark signing of Johnathan Thurston in 2005. JT won his first Dally M that season as the Cowboys reached their first NRL Grand Final, where they lost to Wests Tigers. A run to the prelims followed in 2007 before a series of injury woes and off-field dramas saw them slide back to the bottom end of the table in 2008.
The debut of 17-year-old Jason Taumalolo in 2010 heralded the dawn of a new era for the Cowboys. They improved steadily over the coming years, becoming a fixture in the top eight and breaking through with a maiden premiership in 2015. North Queensland have not missed the top eight once since 2011.
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