It’s Round 6 in the NRL, and we start with yet another low profile Thursday night game. The Canberra Raiders (2-3) will welcome the North Queensland Cowboys (2-3) to a chilly GIO Stadium, with both teams looking to get back to 50% on the season and stay in touch with the top 8. Both teams have lost their last two games, with the Cowboys particularly unlucky in last week’s golden point loss to the Warriors. These teams also met in Round 2, with the Cowboys notching a shock 26-6 victory. It should be a dry track for this one.

Draftstars  has a $15,000 contest with $1132 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller.



Team News

The Raiders only have one change, with Matt Frawley dumped as the teams utility and replaced on the bench by exciting youngster Xavier Savage. It’s hard to see how that will play out with Savage a true fullback and unlikely to be much use covering for Tom Starling at hooker. There is a chance Starling sees 80 minutes. The teams usually strong forward pack has been outclassed the last couple of weeks, with more needed from the likes of Papalii, Tapine, Whitehead and Guler in particular, although no-one is immune from criticism.

There are two changes for the Cowboys. Coen Hess returns at prop, with Jamayne Taunoa-Brown out. Griffin Neame is also out, and is replaced on the bench by centre-turned-backrower Connelly Lemuelu. I’d say that gives a slight boost to the minutes of the rest of the forward pack. Scott Drinkwater was legitimately good at fullback last week, and Val Holmes is looking dangerous at centre. It’s a volatile team, but the upside is there.


Raiders $1.55 v Cowboys $2.45


That round 2 result came from nowhere, but the Cowboys don’t have the home-field advantage in this one and that could make a significant difference. The young forward pack is still providing plenty of upside, and if they can outclass the Raiders bigger names once again they’ll be right in it. Other than Jordan Rapana and the halves, the Raiders backline is pretty hit and miss and generally struggling behind their beaten forwards lately. The Cowboys are getting more consistent output, so I give them close to a 50/50 chance in this one.

Love It- Matthew Timoko $10,440

It’s been a volatile start to the season for Timoko, with two scores 47+, two under 20, and a middling 31. It correlates with him looking unstoppable in some games, and listless in others. As one of the youngest players in the team he still has a lot to refine, but his tackle breaking abilities are undeniable. It translates to an average of 38 so far, making him ay too cheap and one of the best candidates to top score in the OB position. Pairing him with Jack Wighton could be a nice stack not he left hand side of the field.


Love It- Tom Starling $15,190

The price has slowly crept up for Starling since Josh Hodgson was injured, but it’s still not prohibitive or even neutral just yet. With a less recognised backup coming onto the bench this week, there is the prospect of 80 minutes. Even if it doesn’t happen I rate him a 50+ scorer and think he’s going to give us plenty of scores like last weeks 62. Keep investing until the price gets up to Jack Wighton levels, then we’ll have a real decision to make.


Love It- Ryan Sutton $13,280

Sutton had some very handy games when asked to start in 2021, and now gets the chance again with Hudson Young out. It didn’t deliver anything meaningful last week (36), but there should be some 50+ scores coming in the near future. I expect the Raiders forward pack to get a rocker for this one, and think Sutton could be the place to access some under-owned value. With two 70+ scores last season, there is a huge amount of upside at this price.


Hate It- Jordan McLean $12,170

I nearly picked on Elliot Whitehead here, for similar reasons to what I’ll give for McLean. But, with the Raiders favoured at home, McLean gets the target on his back as an ageing forward with very little remaining upside. He falls into a similar bracket as James Tamou and Jesse Bromwich, where their scoring is nowhere near its former levels as they reach the end of their careers. Sure, there will be the odd outlier game where they trip over for a try, but in general it’s better to fade often and trust they’ll rarely be slate winners.


Hate It- Tom Dearden $18,600

In both real life and fantasy, Dearden has taken a step forward this season and is looking like a future gun. However, I cannot swallow this price tag on this slate. He now needs to score around 70 to win the slate at this price, which he’s never done. With Wighton just above him having a massive ceiling, and the likes of Cotter, Starling, Robson and Townsend all much cheaper and able to match him, it looks like an easy fade despite the good form.


Who Knows- Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad $10,650

CNK has not really passed the eye test this season, looking well below his damaging best after a 2021 ruined by injury. However, he did a couple of okay things last week, and now has Xavier Savage breathing down his neck from the bench as some added motivation. I’m not sure that I can trust him to go back to his glory days, but his price is such that something like last week’s 41 might be enough. If the Raiders do indeed win this one, it’s worth mixing him into our Raiders stacks at the very least.


Draftstars Suggested Team

Always remember to gamble responsibly. When the fun stops, stop. If gambling is having a negative impact on your life, seek support at Gambling Help Online.  18+ only.