The North Queensland Cowboys have had to work hard to earn the respect of their peers in the National Rugby League.
Now, with Johnathan Thurston retired and Paul Green out of the coaches’ box, the Cowboys are looking to rebuild after a couple of disappointing seasons.
Can Todd Payten lead North Queensland back to the top eight? Let’s see what Australia’s best NRL bookmakers are saying about their prospects going forward.
About the North Queensland Cowboys
|Home ground:||1300SMILES Stadium|
|Premierships:||One – 2015|
|2020 ladder finish:||14th (5-15)|
Best bookies for North Queensland Cowboys betting
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Updated Cowboys futures odds
|2021 Premiership||Make Finals||Make Top 4||Top Tryscorer Odds|
|Feb||$41||$3||$9||K Feldt $17|
|Mar||$41||$3||$9||K Feldt $17|
Best North Queensland Cowboys bets for NRL 2021
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:
- The Cowboys are embarking on a new chapter under Todd Payten. They have some quality players and emerging youngsters, but it will be a few seasons yet before we can expect them to push for premiership honours.
- North Queensland will have to leapfrog a few teams to make the finals this year, but only a fool would write off their chances entirely. Nevertheless, it seems far more likely that the Cowboys will miss the eight again this season.
- No matter how the Cowboys fare in 2021, you can Kyle Feldt to rack up plenty of tries from his roost on the wing. The 29-year-old is a quality finisher who has reached double digits in each of the past five seasons, including a career-best tally of 19 in only 20 games last year.
2021 North Queensland Cowboys draw
|1||Penrith Panthers||Panthers Stadium||Saturday, March 13||6:35pm|
|2||St George Illawarra Dragons||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Saturday, March 20||6:35pm|
|3||Gold Coast Titans||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Saturday, March 28||5:15pm|
|4||Cronulla Sharks||Sunshine Coast Stadium||Saturday, April 3||4:30pm|
|5||Wests Tigers||Leichhardt Oval||Sunday, April 11||4:05pm|
|6||Canterbury Bulldogs||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Sunday, April 18||4:05pm|
|7||Canberra Raiders||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Sunday, April 24||7:35pm|
|8||New Zealand Warriors||Mt Smart Stadium||Sunday, May 2||2pm|
|9||Brisbane Broncos||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Sunday, May 8||7:35pm|
|10||Sydney Roosters||Suncorp Stadium||Saturday, May 15||7:45pm|
|11||Newcastle Knights||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Thursday, May 20||7:50pm|
|12||New Zealand Warriors||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Friday, May 28||6pm|
|14||Manly Sea Eagles||Lottoland||Friday, June 11||6pm|
|15||Cronulla Sharks||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Friday, June 18||6pm|
|16||Newcastle Knights||McDonald Jones Stadium||Saturday, July 3||7:35pm|
|17||South Sydney Rabbitohs||Stadium Australia||Friday, July 9||7:55pm|
|18||Sydney Roosters||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Saturday, July 17||5:30pm|
|19||Melbourne Storm||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Friday, July 23||7:55pm|
|20||Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||Friday, July 30||7:55pm|
|21||Gold Coast Titans||Cbus Super Stadium||Sunday, August 8||4:05pm|
|22||Wests Tigers||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Saturday, August 14||5:30pm|
|23||Parramatta Eels||Bankwest Stadium||Saturday, August 21||7:35pm|
|24||St George Illawarra Dragons||WIN Stadium||Saturday, August 28||3pm|
|25||Manly Sea Eagles||Queensland Country Bank Stadium||Friday, September 4||5:30pm|
Cowboys players to watch in NRL 2021
Is there a better player to watch in the NRL? Jason Taumalolo has now won the Paul Bowman Medal five years running and looks the man to beat once again in 2021. If he stays fit and doesn’t get into too much trouble with the judiciary, he could figure in the Dally M Medal reckoning as well.
The Cowboys have a few promising types coming through, but the clear standout is Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. He notched six tries in 14 games during his debut NRL campaign while playing mostly on the wing, and this year we can expect him to offer plenty of strike power in the centres.
The year 2020 was an interesting one for Valentine Holmes, who struggled to make an impact in his first season with the Cowboys but finished with a bang in Queensland’s State of Origin win. It remains to be seen whether he gets another crack at fullback, but we all know what a weapon he can be on the wing.
North Queensland Cowboys records and stats
- Most games: 294 – Johnathan Thurston
Most career points: 2,182 – 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.