North Queensland are on the precipice of their fourth Grand Final appearance and having never lost a final in Townsville they look outstanding value against a Parramatta team that may have peaked last week.
North Queensland have played six finals in Townsville over their 27-year existence. They have won and covered all six. The venue for this final should not be understated or undervalue. And it is not only the rabid crowd that will be cheering the Cowboys home but hot, humid conditions the Eels are definitely not used to.
We actually get a good guide on how these two do in high humidity. These two met in Darwin earlier in the year. The Cowboys won 35-4. North Queensland have also won seven of the last eight in Townsville against the Eels.
The Cowboys feel like the forgotten team here. They finished higher than the Eels on the ladder and they have covered 17 of 25 games this season. They have covered 8 of 12 at home and 13 of 17 at night.
The Eels were tremendous last week but it is hard to imagine they can be that wound up again. They have covered just 4 of 14 off a win and just 3 of 11 off a double digit win.
North Queensland play an aggressive style that can trouble the Eels. They also get to the edges fast and that is where Parramatta can be beat.
The Cowboys should be far shorter.
Same Game Multi
The over has hit in 8 of 10 Cowboys games when they are off scoring 30-plus and five straight Eels games when they are interstate.
Kyle Feldt has 11 tries in his last seven games against the Eels, failing to cross in just one of those.
Murray Taulagi has scored in five straight games.
Hard-running edge backrower Tom Gilbert scored against the Sharks last game and can make it two straight. He has three tries this year but has threatened plenty. He gets a good matchup running at the Eels right edge.
Play Betseeker Bingo for NRL Tryscorers at TopSport! Here are this week’s selections.
At least three of the following four players to score a try in NRL Finals Week 3.
At least two of the following four players to score a try in NRL Finals Week 3.