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NRL: Fresh Raiders ready for Cowboys clash

Having enjoyed a week off, a rejuvenated Canberra Raiders are preparing to host the North Queensland Cowboys at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

The Raiders are determined to keep in touching distance of the top four, while the Cowboys head into this one on the back of a heavy 42-12 defeat at the hands of the New Zealand Warriors on their own patch in Townsville.

A tough trip to the capital awaits the Cowboys and a long night might well be in store for the visitors.

. What: Canberra Raiders v North Queensland Cowboys
. Where: GIO Stadium, Canberra
. When: 18:00 (AEST), Friday 14th June 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
. Odds: Canberra Raiders 1.72, North Queensland Cowboys 2.15

Raiders raring to go

Canberra will have enjoyed their week off at this stage of the season and will go into this game with confidence on the back of a golden point win over the Dolphins in Round 13.

The 87th-minute winning field goal from Jordan Rapana sealed the victory that has seen the Raiders pull level with the Dolphins on the NRL ladder.

Now in fifth place going into this week’s games, the Raiders are looking to break their four-game losing streak against the Cowboys.

Back-row star Hudson Young returns from State of Origin duty to join the pack, meaning Ata Mariota is moved to the bench and Simi Sasagi drops out of the squad.

The Raiders are 1.72 favourites to claim the win at GIO Stadium, while the hosts are 2.00 at -2.5 in the Line market.

Rapana is also a player to look out for in the anytime tryscorer market at 3.25, having scored seven tries in his last four games against the Cowboys.

Cowboys need a response

Blown away by the Warriors in their own backyard last time out, it’s a quick turnaround for the Cowboys as they make the trip to the capital.

The returns of Murray Taulagi and Reece Robson will provide North Queensland with a much-needed boost ahead of Friday night.

Prop Jordan McLean also returns, while Maroons representative Jeremiah Nanai will look to make an impact off the bench.

The Cowboys will look to put that defeat to the Warriors behind them and they can look back on their recent encounters with the Raiders with fond memories.

North Queensland are available at 2.15 to make it five wins on the bounce against Canberra, which would help the Cowboys stay in the race for a top-eight finish.

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