Cowboys superstar Valentine Holmes is hitting top form at the right moment as he prepares to face his former team Cronulla for the first time.
Holmes, who set up three tries in last week's defeat of the Titans, walked out on the Sharks after the 2018 season to chase an NFL dream in the US, reportedly upsetting some at the Sutherland Shire club.
Aside from wanting to get one over their old mate Holmes, the injury-hit Cronulla side are desperate to win after slipping to a third straight defeat against the Wests Tigers.
Match: Cowboys v Sharks
Round 4 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Cowboys: Coen Hess (ankle) joins Jason Taumalolo (knee bone bruising) on the sidelines, with Gavin Cooper starting in the second row and Shane Wright added to the bench. Tom Opacic, Corey Jensen and Reuben Cotter were the other players to drop out of the 21-man squad named on Tuesday.
Josh McGuire shifts to lock with Francis Molo at prop. The Cowboys have scored more tries after Round 3 than in their final six games of 2019.
Sharks: Cronulla are 1-17. Matt Moylan replaces Chad Townsend (hamstring) in the halves, and Connor Tracey and Siosifa Talakai are named on the bench. Andrew Fifita (calf/knee) is out again. Reserves Billy Magoulias and Braydon Trindall were the two players left out 24 hours before game time and Royce Hunt and Teig Wilton dropped off the extended bench on game day. Centre Josh Dugan has scored a try in his past four games against the Cowboys.
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Valentine HolmesFullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Sharks is number 2 Sione Katoa
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Justin O'NeillCentre for Sharks is number 3 Josh Dugan
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Esan MarstersCentre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Ben HamptonWinger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott DrinkwaterFive-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Matt Moylan
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Jake CliffordHalfback for Sharks is number 7 Shaun Johnson
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Francis MoloProp for Sharks is number 8 Toby Rudolf
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Jake GranvilleHooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
Prop for Cowboys is number 10 Jordan McLeanProp for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Mitchell Dunn2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 17 Gavin Cooper2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Wade Graham
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Josh McGuireLock for Sharks is number 13 Jack Williams
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 Reece RobsonInterchange for Sharks is number 14 Connor Tracey
Interchange for Cowboys is number 15 John AsiataInterchange for Sharks is number 15 Braden Hamlin-Uele
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Tom GilbertInterchange for Sharks is number 16 Siosifa Talakai
Interchange for Cowboys is number 19 Shane WrightInterchange for Sharks is number 17 Scott Sorensen
- Referee: Chris Sutton
- Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
- Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
Sharks coach John Morris conceded the Tigers rolled through his middles last week - and North Queensland still possess a strong forward pack even without Taumalolo. Cronulla's pack will need to lift as a unit to match them - especially with Andrew Fifita out. The hard-running of Toby Rudolf and Braden Hamlin-Uele could be key.