Match Preview: NQ Cowboys v Wests Tigers

The Cowboys have found their mojo with wins over three of last year's finalists in consecutive weeks and now find themselves just two points outside the top eight.

After putting 45 points on the Storm in Round 14 the Cowboys outlasted Penrith in a golden point thriller and then piled on five tries in a 31-6 demolition of the Rabbitohs.

With their back three of Scott Drinkwater, Semi Valemei and Murray Taulagi combining for 575 running metres the Cowboys got on the front foot early and dominated the Rabbitohs, but fresh in coach Todd Payten's mind will be the fact the Tigers embarrassed his men 66-18 at Leichhardt Oval just six weeks ago.

That worst loss in Payten's time at the club saw the Cowboys plummet to 14th on the table but their revival has been impressive and they look to keep the roll going against the Tigers before a bye in Round 19 and a clash with the Sea Eagles in Round 20.

In the absence of key playmakers Luke Brooks and Api Koroisau, the Tigers will turn to David Klemmer and John Bateman for leadership as they look to climb out of the cellar and avoid consecutive wooden spoons.

Team News
Cowboys: Coach Todd Payten confirmed on Friday that star forward Jason Taumalolo (hamstring) will return against Wests Tigers. Taumalolo remained 18th Man in the squad lists on Friday but is expected to return. Blues hooker Reece Robson suffered a hamstring injury against Souths last week but remains in the 17 with Jake Granville to move into hooker if he is ruled out.

Wests Tigers: No late changes at this stage for the visitors. Daine Laurie comes in at five-eighth for his first game since Round 4 so Starford To'a moves back to the centres and Asu Kepaoa goes to the bench. Young hooker Tallyn Da Silva retains his place with Api Koroisau (jaw) sidelined.

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