8 Jun 2024

NRL Warriors v Cowboys: What you need to know

10:07 am on 8 June 2024
Scott Drinkwater collides with Tohu Harris.

Scott Drinkwater collides with Tohu Harris. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

Warriors v Cowboys

Kick-off: 7.30pm, Saturday 8 June NZT

Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Live blog updates on RNZ Sport

As we approach the halfway point of the 2024 NRL season, it is still difficult to get a decent read of where everyone will end up on the ladder come finals time.

We have seen perfect examples with the Warriors over the past few weeks upsetting both the Dolphins and the Panthers, and then also with the Cowboys picking up a gutsy victory of their own over the high-flying Roosters last Sunday night.

Auckland to Townsville is the longest trip the Warriors have to make, but they are welcoming back plenty of key players returning from injury.

The Cowboys are in an almost identical position on the ladder, also desperate to walk away from Saturday night's match with a much-needed victory.

Warriors training at Go Media Mt Smart Stadium.

Warriors training at Go Media Mt Smart Stadium. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/www.photosport.nz

Here is a look at the teams:

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Kolkstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Te Maire Martin 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jackson Ford 11. Marata Niukore 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Tohu Harris (c)

Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Tom Ale 17. Kurt Capewell

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Jaxon Purdue 4. Viliami Vailea 5. Braidon Burns 6. Jake Clifford 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Sam McIntyre 10. Griffin Neame 11. Heilum Luki 12. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 13. Thomas Mikaele

Interchange: 14. Tom Chester 15. Harrison Edwards 16. Jamal Shibasaski 17. Jason Taumalolo

Warriors selections

Addin Fonua-Blake.

Addin Fonua-Blake. Photo: NRL Photos / www.photosport.nz

Interesting situation for Andrew Webster, with experienced talent available again for team selection that the team has actually been doing perfectly fine without.

Addin Fonua-Blake returns from suspension, Tohu Harris, Kurt Capewell, Wayde Egan, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Rocco Berry from injury and Taine Tuaupiki is in the extended reserves after the birth of his child.

The good news doesn't stop there with Shaun Johnson expected to return next week and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck not long after.

Cowboys selections

Chad Townsend.
2021 NRL Rugby League Season.
Vodafone Warriors v Brisbane Broncos
Sunday 22 August 2021

Photo: NRL Photos

It is very hard to get a read on the Cowboys this week with a rather b-grade team being named after six players were in the Queensland Origin team on Wednesday night. but Tom Dearden and Jeremiah Nanai have been named on the interchange bench.

Also lining up for the Cowboys is former Warriors Chad Townsend and star rookie centre Vilami Vailea.

Past results

Warriors 26 - 12 Cowboys

Warriors 22 - 14 Cowboys

The Warriors have had the Cowboys' number in recent history, having edged them out twice at the start of last year's season in tight contests. The clubs both share a bit of history with former Warriors and now Cowboys head coach Todd Payten having led both of the clubs to relative success, he's done an amazing job of rebuilding the Cowboys and discovering some amazing young talent in the likes of Nanai and Taulagi.


Both teams find themselves coming off the back of extremely gutsy victories where they have ground down top-level opponents to steal the games late in the piece.

This game could really go either way. It wouldn't be surprising to see a tight relatively low-scoring affair and potentially even golden point over time.

If the Warriors stick to the basics and follow their game plan of wearing the Cowboys down with strong contact up the middle and structured defence, it could provide ample opportunities to attack.