Cowboys and Dragons search for first win

Ben Hunt in action. Photo: www.dragons.com.au

Todd Payten and Anthony Griffin go head to head on Saturday night as they try and secure their first wins of the year, when the Dragons travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys.

Both teams showed signs of improvement last weekend but failed to play out the 80 minutes.

The Cowboys failed to score against last year’s runner up, the Panthers, but were gutsy in defence saving three tries.

Unfortunately, they gave the strong Panthers outfit too many chances, only completing 61 percent of their sets in the first half.

Reece Robson and Mitchell Dunn shouldered the defensive load with 45 tackles a piece, while skipper Michael Morgan (10 carries for 91 metres) and winger Kyle Feldt (14 carries for 118 metres) tried their best to create some offensive play.

The Dragons loss to the Sharks was also riddled with errors in the wet and slippery conditions.

The Sharks first two tries came off the back of Dragons players fumbling grubber kicks on the try line.

Despite a spirited second half comeback the teams 15 errors couldn’t keep the Sharks at bay.

New captain Ben Hunt was amongst the Dragons best with 15 carries for 119 metres and two try assists, while Mikaele Ravalawa (16 carries for 132 metres, one try) and Paul Vaughan (17 carries for 208 metres, 31 tackles) also started the season off strong.

The Payten led Cowboys will go into the clash without star lock Jason Taumalolo, who suffered a broken hand last week and will miss the next four games.

Former New Zealand Warrior Lachlan Burr will make his debut for the club on the bench as Rueben Cotter replaces Taumalolo on the field.

The Dragons however, dodged an injury bullet with young winger Cody Ramsey set to play despite failing to finish the game after limping from the field with an ankle injury.

Corey Norman returns from his one match suspension to replace Adam Clune.

Both teams will have to dramatically clean up their error count if they are to win this game.

The Dragons only won three out of 10 games away from home last season, a stat that Griffen will be hoping to turn around.

While Payten will be hoping a return to Townsville can spark his men into action and avoid the dreaded 0-2 start.

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