The Fifth Tackle: Round 20 v Cowboys
The Bulldogs head to Townsville on Thursday night looking for their fifth win a row when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys.
Both clubs head into the clash fresh off a bye and these are the five questions facing both sides.
What will the bye tell us?
The Bulldogs and Cowboys both come into the Round 20 fixture in Townsville fresh off a bye and locked in equal third position on the NRL ladder on 26 points. The bye is a chance for clubs to freshen up and take their minds away from footy, and it came at a perfect time for both sides with a number of players required for the State of Origin series. The bye can re-energise your players or it can take some time to get back into the groove, but what will the break tell us on Thursday night?
Can the Bulldogs end the Cowboys home ground record?
The Cowboys are yet to lose at home this year, winning all eight games. The last time a visiting team won was back in Round 23 last year when the Rabbitohs walked away with a 31-18 victory. Travelling away from home doesn’t fear the Dogs with a 7-2 record in 2016 and with confidence in the camp after four wins in a row, can the Bulldogs be the first team in 2016 to win in Townsville?
Can the Bulldogs make it 5 in a row?
The Bulldogs travel to Townsville on Thursday night looking to make it five wins in a row, the first time since Rounds 22-26 of season 2015. After wins over the Dragons, Broncos, Roosters and Tigers, the Bulldogs will lock horns with the reigning premiers looking to cement third position on the NRL ladder and skip clear of the Cowboys, Raiders and Broncos.
Will Michael Morgan play?
Cowboys five-eight Michael Morgan has been sidelined with a knee injury since Origin two and reports suggest the talented number six is expected to return for the important clash with the Bulldogs. The inclusion of Morgan will provide plenty of spark to the Cowboys attack and with 7 tires, 10 try assists, 7 line breaks and a hat-trick against the Dogs in Round 9 last year, the Origin star will be one to watch on Thursday night.
Will a win cement a top 4 spot?
The Bulldogs and Cowboys sit in equal third on the NRL ladder on 26 points looking to cement their spot in the top 4. The Raiders are only one point behind both clubs on 25 points, while the Broncos are in sixth position on 24 points and with another meeting in Round 25 between the Bulldogs and Cowboys, does a win on Thursday night guarantee one of these clubs finishes in the top four?