Theres gunna be a showdown!

Before this current NRL season commenced all of the footy journos and commentators were asked to predict their Premiers, Top 8, and Wooden Spooners (who will finish last). 

The majority of us ‘so-called’ experts forecast that the North Queensland Cowboys would run stone motherless!

Well,  didn’t we get that one wrong. 

Not only will they not run last but the Cowboys have a realistic chance of glory this year, thanks to the off-season metamorphous they undertook. 

Todd Payten, their head coach, explained a few weeks back that part of their transformation has been to get his charges out of their comfort zone up in the far North of our country.  Spontaneous training sessions were called during an arduous pre-season regime that involved constant scaling of Castle Hill, a granite monolith that stands proud overlooking Townsville. Not only were the Cowboys expected to run up this beast of a hill, they were all given certain times to do it in. If one single player didn’t make the acquired time then they all had to do it again until the entire squad were on the same page with their efforts.

This coupled with defensive drill after defensive drill has seen the once fragile defensive line of the Cowboys now become one of the comp’s best with only the Panthers letting in less points this year ( Penrith 128, Cowboys 131). 

Defence is all about attitude. Everyone can run the footy and pass and sidestep, the hardest part of the game is the tackling component. Get that right and you’re on your way to become a competition heavyweight, aka the Cowboys.

This Friday night our very own Mountain Men take on the North Queensland Castle Hill ‘mountain men’ in what shapes as the game of the year thus far. Who’d a thunk?

To see first-hand how meteoric the Cowboy’s rise has been when scheduling the draw this season, before a ball had been kicked in anger, Ch9 didn’t think it deserved the prime time spot of 8pm on a Friday hence giving it to Fox as well as radio broadcasters including the station I work for Triple M. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing because like Ch9 NOBODY would have thought that the Panthers v Cowboys round 12 fixture would have been this weekend’s most enthralling contest. But indeed it is!

Coming off 6 straight victories, Todd Payten’s charges have been a breath of fresh air unearthing players like Nanai, Taulagi, Luki and Cotter. Their counterparts this Friday, the reigning premiers Penrith, have unveiled their own up and coming stars in Taylan May and Izack Tago to roam amongst their plethora of origin stars in what’s fast becoming something even more formidable than super!

Last year’s champions up against the new kids on the block this Friday 6pm at Bluebet stadium promises to be a game not to miss. The irresistible force up against the immovable object, 1st up against 2nd, how bloody good! 


See you at the game….