NRL 2 years ago

Cowboys trip a character test

  • Cowboys trip a character test

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 13: Jason Taumalolo of the Cowboys looks dejected in the final minutes during the round 14 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys at Southern Cross Group Stadium on June 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

A trip to Townsville to play the NRL premiers on their own ground is probably not the ideal scenario for struggling Manly.

The Sea Eagles are on their worst NRL losing streak in over a decade, with last Monday's 30-10 loss to Gold Coast their sixth defeat in a row.

They'll face a North Queensland team boosted by the return of Origin stars Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston, Justin O'Neill and James Tamou.

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The Cowboys are chasing 10 straight wins at home, with Sea Eagles hooker Api Koroisau well aware of the challenge that lies ahead.

"It's always hard playing them, no matter where you play them but especially up there in Townsville," Koroisau told AAP.

"The best thing about us is that we have nothing to lose. We can throw everything we want at them.

:This will be a good test ... see where our character is at."

Coach Trent Barrett will welcome back NSW State of Origin representative Dylan Walker for the trip to Townsville while halfback Daly Cherry-Evans is back from a syndesmosis injury.

But tempering those returns is the absence of hooker Matt Parcell, who injured a hamstring against the Titans.

That absence will be keenly felt in the opinion of Koroisau, who slots into the No.9 jersey against the Cowboys.

"That's a key loss to us once again," he said.

"He's been exceptional for us throughout the season."

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