NRL finals 2022 LIVE updates: North Queensland Cowboys v Parramatta Eels – late team change for Brad Arthur

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Father’s depression battle driving Lane’s Parra rise

Shaun Lane has known chronic depression his whole life.

Learning to make the best of a difficult situation has been the catalyst for the career-best form that has him in World Cup contention and 80 minutes from an NRL grand final.

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‘This is our Last Dance’ – Inside the Eels shot at history

This is Parramatta’s Last Dance.

The best opportunity to break a 36-year premiership drought and the final one to do so with the current core group of players before it is dismantled.

Parramatta’s premiership window won’t get any more open than it is right now.Credit:Getty

Like the legendary NBA roster of the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98 – which farewelled stars including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson – Parramatta will part company with a slew of players integral to the club’s resurgence. Mahoney, Isaiah Papali’i, Marata Niukore, Oregon Kaufusi, Tom Opacic and Ray Stone will all depart, while out-of-favour former Blues forward Nathan Brown, despite being contracted for next year, is expected to follow suit.

Full story by Adrian Proszenko. 

Beast Mode with ball skills – the reinvention of Taumalolo

Took a bit of dive on Jason Taumalolo’s evolution under Todd Payten this week and the ball-playing make-over that has made North Queensland’s co-captain even more dangerous.

For the full story and a pregame read CLICK HERE

Taumalolo’s reinvention has given us beauties like this one below:

Picture perfect: The evolution of Jason Taumalolo’s passing

And yet, Taumalolo’s still churning out these stupendous numbers like days of yore when he needs to, such as the last start 93-minute against Cronulla:

Final teams are in

No Tom Opacic for Parra – he’s succumbed to a hamstring issue picked up last week against Canberra – and is replaced out wide by Bailey Simonsson. As has been customary of late, Marata Niukore starts at lock with Ryan Matterson reverting to the bench.

North Queensland are 1-17 as named, no changes from the team that downed Cronulla in week one.

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: 14. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 15. Luciano Leilua 16. Coen Hess 17. Griffin Neame. 18th man: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown

Bailey Simonsson comes into the Parramatta starting side.Credit:Getty

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 19. Bailey Simonsson 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 17. Marata Niukore

Interchange: 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Bryce Cartwright 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi. 18th man: 18. Makahesi Makatoa

Hello one, hello all

Evening sports fans,

Welcome to our coverage of the first NRL grand final qualifier, Cowboys hosting the Eels in Townsville at a sold-out Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Christian Nicolussi is our man on the ground up north, Dan Walsh here in the chair. Let’s go.

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