9. Cowboys to struggle without Thurston and Barba

You have the feel bad for the North Queensland Cowboys. It was always going to be a huge ask to replace the greatest of all time in Jonathan Thurston but with the sacking of the marquee signing Ben Barba, they lack some serious attacking flair and depth in attacking areas. Michael Morgan will need to step up and provide the points but it’s too big of an ask.

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 15: Michael Morgan of the Cowboys sits on the bench after being injured during the round 15 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the New Zealand Warriors at 1300SMILES Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)


  1. Sticky won’t be sacked…if anything he’ll step down on his own terms and move into a support role or somthing at the club. But we won’t sack him…

  2. Whilst a few of these aren’t exactly extraordinary to assume, all in all you raise some valid points. I really had North Queensland as a top 4 team again before the Barba fiasco. But they won’t be able to challenge without those two players, and I didn’t even rate Barba that highly. Ben Hampton has some work to do if the Cowboys can’t pick anyone up off the market…

    As for the premiership prediction, naturally I’ll agree. The Broncos have the second best side on paper this season, and the third best coach in the league (Judging off his debut season) behind Bellamy and Robinson. It’s nice to see someone NOT predicting a premiership for Souths. There’s a fearless prediction, they’ll struggle this year. Bennett is overrated, he’s hardly has a side that isn’t a premiership contender on paper anyway. The only time he hasnt was at Newcastle, and how did that end up? South’s wont make the eight.

  3. Don’t be surprised if Easts struggle, Robinson not that good of a coach, maybe Souths will struggle, but Easts won’t go back to back, their not that good, Robbo did have Easts running second last not that long ago with a similar roster, only time will tell.

  4. Well in that case, he made another fearless prediction (no 7), being “the Dragons to start strong and finish poorly”.
    redv13, just trying to keep you in the loop, given you couldn’t read on past 10.

  5. There is only a couple of those predictions I don’t agree with.
    I don’t believe Parra will make the top 8 and don’t think the donkeys will either.
    They have a pretty average side this year.
    The St Merge fade will happen early this year with Dozy Norman in the squad.

  6. Nah mate look. Of course going back to back is a massive ask. It’d be unfair for me to expect that as a fan. But as for 2016 (When we finished 2nd last) that was a very different roster to what we have today. That was a roster with a rookie fullback and 5/8th, and we’d just lost Maloney, Jennings, and Tuivasa Sheck. It was far less stable than what we have this year. 4 minor premierships and a 2nd place finish in his 6 years means he has my faith.

    We’ll be right up there, we definately won’t struggle. My hearts prediction is a premiership, but my head says minor premiership and at least semi-finals

  7. I’m not sure about the Dragons having an Origin hangover again. Cherry-Evans has overtaken Hunt, De Belin is facing serious prison time and probably won’t be keeping Trbojevic away from lock, while Vaughan and Sims might have some tough competition with Pangai Jr, James, Finucane, Yeo, Murray and Tamou.
    Daly Cherry-Evans, Cameron Munster, Cody Walker, Anthony Milford and Michael Morgan will keep Ponga away from starting 5/8 for Maroons imo. With Barba gone, Inglis at centre and Boyd retired, Moses Mbye becomes the only available Queenslander with a guaranteed fullback position next year. Munster and Ponga have to be looking for the fullback spot instead of 5/8.

  8. Your comments are the best from a Rooster’s fan that I have read in a long time. No personal attacks, just your opinion. As a Souths member I always have high hopes for my team but I never make predictions, I’ve been following rugby league for too long. I just want my team to play to the best of their ability.

  9. Yeah redv3, you watch , massive response from woody followed by his internal mate Russ , surprised he hasn’t repsonded already.

    At least sydneyroosta talks sensible and what he says makes sense not like that other dribbler

  10. Hahaha, yeah as a blues supporter so would I. Seriously as if a waste of space like Mbye will beat out Munster or Ponga for an origin spot.

  11. I think you have to be careful saying DeBelin is facing “ serious gaol time “. He’s denying everything. He may be in trouble but let it play out before tar and feathering him. And it is “ fearless predictions “….. stating the obvious isn’t exactly fearless.

  12. This will be rickys last year IF the team doesn’t make the 8 but he I agree he will stand down if that is the case… BUT this is a very talented squad and they are a band of brothers with a great culture and they will be in the 8 for sure and Ricky will be there all the way ..

  13. cowboys, titans will struggle but fearless prediction is Souffs to collect the wooden spoon..sorry to all their tooth missing fans. Wayne will make a mess of that club…..Broncs def. the winners in that coach exchange. A Sydney team will win the GF….Roosters or Sharks if they can get over the coach mess.

  14. Eels? you’re joking surely?
    Ricky will be the second coach to be moved on after Brownie @ Newcastle. Dean Pay will be right behind him.
    Here is a tip. Flanno at the doggies in 2020.

  15. Yeah, some of those predictions weren’t exactly the work of Nostradamus. As for JDB, I think the only he’ll be found guilty of is tooling around on his missus. Pity certain others can’t say the same hey manlove78.

  16. Walters has already said Munster won’t be considered for fullback and he is in the team so that means 5/8, and dce is there only option as halfback as neither Munster or Ponga are halfbacks.

  17. Cookie wasn’t a fringe first grader.. Madge was blind.. all rabbitohs that I know were of all the same opinion.. COOKIE WAS THE OBVIOUS CHOICE once bully moved on….

  18. I rate Newcastle this year as the ‘smokies’ – agree the Cows will struggle with no real pace in their backline. I think Raiders, Tigers and Bulldogs will be the bottom 3. Dragons, Broncos, Souths and Roosters top 4.

  19. This is my top 8

    1: Penrith
    2: Brisbane
    3: Storm
    4: Roosters
    5: Newcastle
    6: Souths
    7: Sharks
    8: Wests Tigers

    9: Dragons
    10: Parramatta
    11: Cowboys
    12: Titans
    13: Warriors
    14: Bulldogs
    15: Raiders
    16: Manly

    That’s right I’ve got Penrith taking out number 1 spot

    Grand final will be

    Penrith vs Brisbane

    1st coach to get sacked will be BA
    Parramatta to sign flanno for 2020

    Rookie of the year will be Dylan Brown this guy is a gun.

  20. Raiders won’t miss the 8 , we have the second best attack in the comp and have lost the fat bastards in the middle that slow us in defence , we will be fit and mobile in the middle which was our Achilles heal along with Austin’s decision making in defence , jack wighton at five – eight will hit anyone that runs at him and help his outside men make better decisions, but as usual we get underestimated and we love that this time of year 👌

  21. Great to know we have some supporters in the Gold Coast. It will be really interesting to see how the Raiders go this year. There is zero expectation for a start which will go in their favour. Plenty of so called experts will write them off before the season even starts. We have no idea how they will line up but I’m expecting Jack Wighton to have a great season wherever he plays and if I was an opposition half they will get their rib cages rattled on multiple occasions if he plays at 5/8. I think the recruitment of the pommy Bateman will be a master stroke and as you suggest the loss of our 3 worst defensive liabilities has to help. I can’t see Ricky getting the flick if it all goes pear shaped – he will have tp walk.

  22. It’s actually a breath of fresh air to see a chooks supporter on here be honest and not just talk about BS 🤙🏻

  23. Am I the only one that thinks cowboys will make the 8 this year? There is no pressure on them now and we all know (as much as it kills me to say it) QLD teams always win when there backs against the wall (except GC aha) look at the baby broncos during the origin period when the basically had the QLD team.

  24. I think Bateman will get over 10 tries for us this year, I can see us flying under the radar and catching a lot of people off guard this year

  25. Sorry Moa did play in 2016 it was JWH who missed the first 8 games of the season due to a knee reconstruction from the previous season.

  26. Well Olive if you want to hear a Chooks supporter on here be honest and not just talk about BS then I’m the man. I had them in the 4 but with no fullback now, which is a very important spine position and not just in attack but organising the defence. They are goners. Morgan will need a full season to get back to his best also. 10th💪🐔👉1️⃣0️⃣

  27. Hey Woody, what u think of this ladder after the 2019 regular season
    1. Roosters
    2. Souths
    3. Panthers
    4. Broncos
    5. Storm
    6. Knights
    7. Cowboys
    8. Dragons

    9. Raiders
    10. Warriors
    11. Tigers
    12. Titans
    13. Sharks
    14. Eels
    15. Sea Eagles
    16. Bulldogs

  28. It would be totally amazing if the Sydney Roosters and Rabbits played in a grand final. It probably should of happened last season but the top 8 system sometimes can be cruel with the best two teams playing a week before in the Preliminary Final after ending up on the same side of the draw after week 1. I know the NRL will never revert back to a top five but in the top 5 system the best two teams always made the grand final.

  29. I’ll guarantee Manly will be the dark horse this year and perform far better than anyone believes. Penrith will do squat with Cleary, Cowboys will do wore than people think and my boldest prediction Raiders will shock everyone and make top 4, they have too much talent and will fire up. Dragons will either be top 4 or bottom 4, it’ll either be a brilliant season or they’ll fail miserably and struggle all season. If Norman and Hunt fire with that forward pack they’ll be unstoppable barring injuries.

  30. I’ll guarantee Manly will be the dark horse this year and perform far better than anyone believes. Penrith will do squat with Cleary, Cowboys will do worse than people think and my boldest prediction Raiders will shock everyone and make top 4, they have too much talent and will fire up. Dragons will either be top 4 or bottom 4, it’ll either be a brilliant season or they’ll fail miserably and struggle all season. If Norman and Hunt fire with that forward pack they’ll be unstoppable barring injuries.

  31. “Robinson not that good of a coach,“

    Results don’t lie penso, 2013,2014,2015 and 2018 minor premiers and won 2013 and 2018 premiership, You are blinded by jealousy.

    The roosters will go further then the rabbits in the finals AGAIN this year, that’s if the rabbits can get in the 8

  32. Roosters are more of chance going back2back then your stain finishing higher then 14th, your stuck in the bottom 4 for atleast 5 years

  33. Your probably right, Elgey will carry manly to a premiership hahahahaha

    Your backline pitiful. Where do you think manly finish this year?

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