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Cowboys vs Broncos Tips & Betting Preview - Can North Queensland claim the opening round derby?

  • The two teams meet for the first time at the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Valentine Holmes
Valentine Holmes makes his regular season debut for the Cowboys on Friday (Getty Images)
Todd Davey 13 Mar 2020
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Cowboys vs Broncos Tips & Betting Preview

Both Queensland teams are in action on Friday night as the Cowboys host the Broncos at the newly built Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.

The Broncos were dealt a cruel blow on the eve of the season with Jack Bird tearing his ACL at training two days before the match. Bird's absence will leave a huge hole at fullback for Brisbane.

Conversely the Cowboys will be full of optimism with former NFL wannabe Valentine Holmes set to make his debut for the club. Holmes left the game in 2018 as one of the most dynamic players in the NRL and he's expected to be a Dally M contender in 2020.

Cowboys Team News

Backs: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Ben Hampton 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Michael Morgan Forwards: 8. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo Interchange: 14. Reece Robson 15. Mitchell Dunn 16. Shane Wright 17. Francis Molo Reserves: 18. Corey Jensen 19. Connelly Lemuelu 20. Tom Opacic 21. Jake Clifford

Valentine Holmes will make his Cowboys debut at full back, with Scott Drinkwater shifting to five-eighth.

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Broncos Team News

Backs: 1. Jack Bird 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Darius Boyd 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft Forwards: 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Tevita Pangai Junior Interchange: 13. Patty Carrigan 14. Jamayne Isaako 15. Andrew McCullough 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Jamil Hopoate Reserves: 18. Xavier Coates 19. Herbie Farnworth 20. Tom Dearden 21. Ethan Bullemor

Jack Bird has been named at full back but will miss the opener after sustaining an ACL injury at training on Wednesday. Corey Oates is also under a cloud but is expected to play after overcoming a staph infection.

Cowboys vs Broncos Head to Head

The Broncos have dominated this fixture in recent times.

Brisbane has taken out four of the last five meetings between the teams and defeated their opponents on both occasions last season.

This will be the first time the two teams have met at the newly built stadium in Townsville.

Cowboys vs Broncos Betting Odds

The Cowboys are the $1.60 favourites heading into Friday night's clash. The Brisbane Broncos are the $2.30 outsiders but could drift out further as kick off approaches.

The line for the Cowboys is set at -4.0.

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Cowboys vs Broncos Match Up

It will be all eyes on the fullbacks here as Valentine Holmes returns to the NRL, with his opposite number likely to be Corey Oates.

Both players are speedy and evasive playmakers who have try scoring ability. The big question for the Cowboys will be whether or not Holmes hits the ground running or has some rust on his game. 

Oates needs to shrug off a disappointing season where he didn't have the impact he would have liked for his club and Friday night presents the perfect opportunity.

Cowboys vs Broncos Key Stats

  • Friday night is the first ever game played at Queensland Country Bank Stadium 
  • Eight of North Queensland's last nine Round 1 matches have gone under the total match points line
  • The Cowboys have won their last four opening round matches

Cowboys vs Broncos FAQ

When does the Cowboys vs Broncos match kick off?

The Eels vs Cowboys match is scheduled to kick off at 8.05pm AEDT on Friday, March 12 from Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville.

Where is the Cowboys vs Broncos match being played?

The Cowboys host the Broncos at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville. This will be the first NRL game the newly built venue has hosted.

How can I live stream the Cowboys vs Broncos match?

Visit our live streaming page for information on how you can watch the North Queensland Cowboys vs Brisbane Broncos.



We're anticipating a comfortable win for the Cowboys with Valentine Holmes getting across the try line at some stage throughout the 80 minutes.

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