The Mitsubishi Electric Bulldogs CEO, Malcolm Noad, has announced that current coach, Steve Folkes, has re-signed with the club for a further 2 years. This is great news for the team who are travelling to Townsville to take on the North Queensland Cowboys.
With a number of key player�s injured the Cowboys depth will be tested by the third placed Bulldogs. The Cowboys will be without Queensland Origin reps Paul Bowman and Travis Norton. Bowman has been ruled out due to a pinched nerve in his neck, whilst former Bulldog, Travis Norton has a knee injury and is expected to be out for up to three weeks.
The Bulldogs have retained the same team that escaped with a narrow win over the Raiders last weekend. Both teams will be eager for a win with the Bulldogs continuing to play for a top two finish, whilst the Cowboys who currently sit in sixth place need to continue winning to move clear of the pack.
Former Bulldogs front rower Paul Rauhihi will captain the Cowboys and will be keen to score a win over his former team mates. The Cowboys lack depth in the forwards and will be relying heavily on Rauhihi and Kevin Campion to provide some resistance against the in form Bulldogs pack.
The Bulldogs will be again looking to their front row of Price and O�Meley to gain the ascendency over their opponents. The Bulldogs duo have been the form props in the NRL and with rake Adam Perry in the best form of his career and back rowers Mason and Ryan going forward the Cowboys will certainly find things tough up front.
The Cowboys will no doubt be looking to their speedy backline to find the gaps with fullback Matt Bowen expected to come into play more along with centres Ty Williams and Josh Hannay and experienced winger Matt Sing. Again the Dogs will be looking for the combinations of their centre pairing of Tonga and Harris to cause the Cowboys problems out wide.
Coach Steve Folkes will be emphasising the need to reduce handling errors and complete their sets to maintain pressure on the under strength Cowboys.