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Dolphins vs North Queensland Cowboys Tips - Dolphins to battle once again

Last updated: 23 Aug 2023
Jeremy Darke 23 Aug 2023
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  • Dolphins vs North QLD Cowboys predictions for Friday's NRL game
  • The Dolphins average losing margin in just 6 points in their last 5 games
  • Can the Cowboys even up the score against the Dolphins?
Dolphins, North Queensland Cowboys
Some key INS for the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

Dolphins vs North Queensland Cowboys Tips

Games do not get more important two weeks out from the finals than this week’s clash for the North Queensland Cowboys against new state rival the Dolphins. 

The Cowboys need to win both of their final two games and get some results to go their way if they are to be a shot of scrapping into the 2023 Finals. For the Dolphins, it is just pride on the line with the possibility of beating the Cowboys for the second time this season.

With a good handful of quality players returning this week for the Dolphins I am on them to cover the line as 9.5-point underdogs against the Cowboys, who are struggling for defensive form and have a mountain of pressure on them this week. 

That is also why I like the Dolphins to score more than 3 converted tries. Jamayne Isaako is great value as an anytime try scorer at 2.04, considering his try-scoring run and the fact he scored 2 tries last time Dolphins met the Cowboys.

  • The Dolphins have won 3 of 6 games at Suncorp, while only losing 1 of their games at the venue by 10 points or more.
  • The Dolphins have scored more than 18 points in 3 of their last 4 games.
  • The Cowboys have conceded an average of 28 points in their last 3 games.
  • Jamayne Isaako leads the league with 21 tries in 2023 and has scored 6 tries in his last 4 games.

Head to Head 

The Dolphins led 26-12 at halftime when these two clubs met for the first time in round 6 2023. 

It was a lead that was unassailable for the Cowboys who lost the match 32-22 after having two players sin-binned during the match. 

Dolphins Form

The Dolphins are on a horrific run of five straight defeats and nine losses in their last 10 games. 

The newcomers were heartbroken last week losing by just one point in the final minutes of the game when Api Koroisau’s sideline penalty goal met the crossbar on the way through to winning the game for the Tigers 23-24.

Dolphins Team News

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Kenny Bromwich and Connelly Lemuelu all return this week.

Kodi Nikorima moves to five-eight while Herman Ese'ese and Euan Aitken shift to the bench. Isaiya Katoa has been moved to the reserves.

Dolphins Team List

1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
2. Jamayne Isaako
3. Tesi Niu 
4. Robert Jennings
5. Jack Bostock
6. Kodi Nikorima
7. Sean O’Sullivan 
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Harrison Graham
10. Mark Nicholls
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Connelly Lemuelu
13. Kenny Bromwich


14. Jarrod Wallace
15. Josh Kerr
16. Euan Aitken
17. Herman Ese'ese


18. JJ Collins
19. Isaiya Katoa
20. Valynce Te Whare
21. Anthony Milford
​​​​​​​22. Kurt Donoghoe

North Queensland Cowboys Form

North Queensland fell to their third defeat in succession against the Sharks last Thursday night, which sees them tied on 28 points with the Rabbitohs and the Roosters, sitting in 9th place on for-and-against. 

After their six-game win streak where they conceded an average of just 12 points, the Cowboys' defence has lost the plot by allowing their opposition to score 28 on average in their last three games. 

If Todd Payton can not get the defensive line right they have no chance of playing in the finals in 2023.

North QLD Cowboys Team News

Jeremiah Nanai and Semi Valemei will miss the clash against the Dolphins with Heilum Luki starting on an edge, while Zac Laybutt has been named at centre. 

Kulikefu Finefeuiaki has been added to the bench.

North QLD Cowboys Team List

1. Scott Drinkwater
2. Kyle Feldt
3. Zac Laybutt
4. Peta Hiku
5. Murray Taulagi
6. Tom Dearden
7. Chad Townsend
8. Jordan McLean
9. Reece Robson
10. Jason Taumalolo
11. Luciano Leilua
12. Heilum Luki
13. Reuben Cotter


14. Jake Granville
15. Coen Hess
16. Griffin Neame
17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki


18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown
19. Brendan Elliot
20. James Tamou
21. Robert Derby
​​​​​​​22. Jack Gosiewski


The Dolphins get some key players back this week after their loss to the Tigers, so they will cover for the second week in a row. They will also take advantage of a slump in defensive form from the Cowboys and score more than 18 points in the match. Jamayne Isaako will cross for a try, continuing to push to be the league’s leading tryscorer in 2023.
Best Bet: Dolphins +9.5 Handicap Line @20/21 at Puntnow - 3 Units
Value Bet: Dolphins Over 18.5 Team Total @20/21 at bet365 Australia - 2 Units
Tryscoring Tips: Jamayne Isaako Anytime Tryscorer @25/24 at Topsport - 1 Unit
Tryscoring Tips: Jamayne Isaako First Tryscorer @16/1 at Boombet - 1 Unit
Dolphins +9.5
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