Valentine Holmes said he has no regrets over his failed NFL dream after returning to the NRL via the North Queensland Cowboys.

Holmes moved to the Cowboys on a six-year deal following his release from the New York Jets' practice squad on Friday.

Like Jarryd Hayne before him, Holmes left rugby league to pursue a career in American football, but he failed to make the Jets' 53-man playing roster after joining the International Player Pathway Program.

Fronting the media on Monday, Holmes said: "It was a quite difficult decision [to leave the New York Jets]. I made big sacrifices on the decision going over.

"I don't have any regrets on the decision going over. I learned a lot as a person and as an athlete … I was more so just out there to explore things."

The 24-year-old added: "I feel a bit stronger, bit faster, bit better agility-wise but my stamina is something I will have to focus on and my ball skills. I haven't played footy in a while but I am sure I will get it back."

Holmes scored 22 tries in 26 games for Cronulla Sharks in 2018 before packing his bags and heading to USA.

"To show that faith in me is awesome and I will try to show it back when I play – I am here to win, that is what my mindset is going to be," Townsville-born Holmes said.

"It was a kind of an easy decision [signing with Cowboys]. I have family here, have friends here from school and I have always loved the Cowboys since I was growing up. It's good to be back home."

North Queensland Cowboys director of rugby Peter Parr believes the 2015 NRL champions have pulled off a major coup by signing Valentine Holmes on a six-year deal.

Former Cronulla Sharks star Holmes was released from the New York Jets' practice squad on Friday, seven months after arriving in the United States to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL.

Holmes failed to make the Jets' 53-man playing roster after joining the International Player Pathway Program.

The Jets stated that the 24-year-old was eyeing a return to Australia and North Queensland on Sunday announced Townsville is his destination.

Parr expects Holmes, who played full-back for much of his time with the Sharks and scored 22 tries in 26 games in 2018, to carry on where he left on off in his rugby league career.

"This is a wonderful signing for our club," Cowboys director of football Parr said.

"It wasn't long ago that Valentine was one of the best players in the competition before his courageous decision to go to the NFL. His form in 2018 was as good as any player in the NRL, particularly in the second half of that season.

"He's a proven big-game player, he's won a Grand Final and he's played some terrific football for both Queensland and Australia.

"Valentine has been a top-class performer at wing and full-back and we've made no secret we had a desire to strengthen our outside back stocks.

"Val's record speaks for itself and we couldn't be more excited about securing him at the Cowboys for the next six seasons."

Holmes has scored 13 tries in 17 Tests for Australia.

Parramatta Eels climbed above opponents Manly Sea Eagles into fifth in the final NRL ladder as Maika Sivo scored a hat-trick in a feisty encounter on Friday.

Sivo's third try with two minutes remaining saw the Eels leapfrog Manly on points difference with a 32-16 win, while it brought up the winger's 20th score of the season.

The powerful Fijian had earlier matched and then surpassed Latrell Mitchell's tally of 18 in 2019 as he crossed three times in the second half to settle an occasionally ill-tempered affair.

Parramatta made a flying start with tries from Michael Jennings and Clinton Gutherson in the first seven minutes to secure a 14-2 half-time lead.

The second period was initially more balanced, though, even after Martin Taupau was sin-binned for an ugly high tackle on Ray Stone, who had to be carried from the field.

A pair of Manase Fainu tries sandwiched Sivo's first effort and the Sea Eagles appeared to be in the ascendancy when Kane Evans also saw yellow for a shoulder to Brad Parker's head.

But Manly simply had no answer for Sivo, who powered through for his second and then ended an excellent team move to head into the finals in style.

In Friday's late game, premiers Melbourne Storm eased past North Queensland Cowboys 24-16.

Sandor Earl and Nelson Asofa-Solomona crossed before the break, with Will Chambers following quickly after the restart to put the Storm in control, all after Murray Taulagi had put the visitors ahead.

Kyle Feldt briefly brought the Cowboys back into the contest, but Max King's 72nd-minute try sealed victory despite a last-gasp Gavin Cooper response.

The last spot in the NRL finals will be determined on Sunday when Cronulla Sharks visit Wests Tigers hoping to hang on to a top-eight berth.

Both the Tigers and the Sharks have 24 points each after 23 rounds, but the latter's greater points differential means they are in pole position to reach the finals.

The sixth-placed Parramatta Eels will look to leapfrog Manly Sea Eagles into fifth while Melbourne Storm, already confirmed as the minor premiership champions, will hope to round off the regular season in style when they host the North Queensland Cowboys.

We take a look at the Opta facts for the last round of NRL fixtures.

 

Thursday

South Sydney Rabbitohs (15-8) v Sydney Roosters (17-6)

- Souths are bidding to beat Sydney twice in the regular season for the first time in a decade following their triumph earlier in the campaign.

- Cody Walker (14 tries, 16 try assists) leads the way with the most try involvements in the NRL and Roosters team-mate Latrell Mitchell will also hope to reach the 30 mark, having crossed 18 times and provided 11 assists so far.

Friday

Parramatta Eels (13-10) v Manly Sea Eagles (14-9)

- This fixture has been a one-sided affair in recent years, with the Eels winning their past four home games in a row against the Eagles by an average margin of 19 points per contest.

- Kane Evans will bring up a landmark 100th appearance for Parramatta.

 

Melbourne Storm (19-4) v North Queensland Cowboys (9-14)

- Though Melbourne have won their past nine successive games against the Cowboys, six of those wins have come by a margin of eight points or fewer.

- The Storm have missed just 27 tackles per game in this year's NRL, fewer than any other team in the competition.

Saturday

Canberra Raiders (15-8) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-14)

- Canberra beat the Warriors 46-12 earlier in the season and have been victorious in five of their previous seven meetings.

- The Warriors have conceded 40-plus points in three of their past five NRL games having done so only once in their previous 35 games. 

 

Canterbury Bulldogs (9-14) v Brisbane Broncos (11-1-11)

- The home team has won the past seven times the Bulldogs have met the Broncos.

- Brisbane players have made 901 tackle breaks this season, 83 more than any other team and 287 more than the Bulldogs.

Gold Coast Titans (4-19) v St George-Illawarra Dragons (7-16)

- Dragons star Gareth Widdop needs just five more points to reach 1,000 in the NRL.

- Each of the past three meetings between these two have been won by the Dragons, who have outscored the Titans 136-52 in that time.

 

Sunday

Wests Tigers (11-12) v Cronulla Sharks (11-12)

- The Sharks are on a five-match winning streak against the Tigers, their longest run of victories against them.

- Benji Marshall is one of just three players to average more than one assist per game having set up 19 tries in 18 appearances.

 

Penrith Panthers (10-13) v Newcastle Knights (10-13)

- Though they have only led in four of their past 10 NRL games against the Knights, the Panthers have won on eight occasions.

- However, Newcastle have scored 12 tries in the opening 10 minutes of NRL games this season, the second-most of any team in the competition (behind the Sydney Roosters).

North Queensland Cowboys great Matt Scott has been discharged from hospital after suffering a mild stroke.

Scott, who is retiring at the end of the NRL season, suffered a mild stroke on August 18.

The Cowboys announced the 34-year-old had left hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

"North Queensland Toyota Cowboys legend Matt Scott has been discharged from hospital as he continues his recovery from a mild stroke," the NRL club said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Scott's condition has improved gradually over the past two weeks and doctors remain confident he will make a full recovery in due course."

The Cowboys face Melbourne Storm on Friday in the last round of the NRL season, with their finals chances over.

North Queensland Cowboys said farewell to the 1300Smiles Stadium with a hard-fought victory as they beat Canterbury Bulldogs 15-8 on Thursday.

The Cowboys are leaving their only home to date after almost quarter of a century, moving to the new North Queensland Stadium next year, and played their final match at the venue this week.

A tense encounter in which North Queensland finished with a flourish saw the Bulldogs' slim NRL finals hopes ended.

It was 2-2 at the break after the sides traded penalty goals, before they remained neck and neck when Kyle Feldt's try was followed by a response from Jayden Okunbor.

But Jordan Kahu's 76th-minute field goal nudged the Cowboys in front and victory was sealed at the last when Shane Wright went over and the departing Scott Bolton added the extras.

High-flying Melbourne Storm look set for a test as they travel to Manly Sea Eagles in the latest round of NRL fixtures.

The Storm sit at the top of the ladder and have a good record at Manly, but the Sea Eagles are fourth themselves and have pushed Melbourne close in previous meetings.

We take a look at that match and more – including a Sydney Cricket Ground double-header – with these Opta facts.

 

Thursday

North Queensland Cowboys (8-14) v Canterbury Bulldogs (9-13)

- The Bulldogs have won four of their past six NRL games against the Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium, including a 27-10 victory in their most recent game there.

- Canterbury have conceded 19 penalties for stealing the ball in NRL 2019, more than any other team in the competition.

Friday

New Zealand Warriors (8-1-13) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (14-8)

- The Rabbitohs have won eight of their past nine NRL games against the Warriors, including their last two on the bounce.

- The New Zealand outfit have conceded 40 or more points in a game on four occasions in NRL 2019 – including three times in their past four games – while the last time they did so more in a single season was 2004 (seven times).

Brisbane Broncos (10-1-11) v Parramatta Eels (13-9)

- Each of the past eight NRL games between the Broncos and the Eels at Suncorp Stadium has been won by the team holding the half-time lead on the day, with each side winning four times in that span.

- Mitchell Moses has made 82 kicks in play that have been retained by a team-mate in this NRL campaign, more than any other player in the competition.

Saturday

Newcastle Knights (9-13) v Gold Coast Titans (4-18)

- The Titans have won five of their last seven NRL games against the Newcastle Knights; however, their two defeats in that span have come in their most recent two clashes at McDonald Jones Stadium.

- Gold Coast have been awarded 168 penalties in NRL 2019, more than any other team in the competition and 16 more than the Newcastle Knights.

Manly Sea Eagles (14-8) v Melbourne Storm (18-4)

- The Storm have won four of their past five NRL games against the Sea Eagles at Lottoland; two of those wins coming by a margin of just one point on the day.

- Martin Taupau (350 carries, 620 tackles) is the only player thus far in NRL 2019 to have made 350 carries and 350 tackles.

Sydney Roosters (16-6) v Penrith Panthers (10-12)

- This will be the Panthers' first NRL game at the Sydney Cricket Ground since a 2010 loss to the Wests Tigers; it is a venue where the Roosters have won their past seven NRL games in a row by an average margin of 32 points.

- The Panthers are one of only three teams (also Sea Eagles, Storm) to have had more than one forward start in every one of their 22 games so far this season (James Fisher-Harris, James Tamou).

Sunday

Cronulla Sharks (11-11) v Canberra Raiders (14-8)

- Ten of the past 12 NRL games between the Sharks and the Raiders have been won by the away team on the day.

- Josh Morris has scored seven tries in his past seven NRL games and has a season tally of 13 – his most in a season since 2012 (17).

St George Illawarra Dragons (7-15) v Wests Tigers (10-12)

- The Dragons have won three of their past four NRL games against Wests, as well as having won the only previous meeting between the two teams at the Sydney Cricket Ground (13-12 in 2013).

- St George have made 40 or more tackle breaks in each of their past two NRL games against the Tigers, a mark they have managed to hit just three times so far in NRL 2019.

Damien Cook made a superb last-ditch tackle as South Sydney Rabbitohs edged out Brisbane Broncos 22-20 in the NRL.

The Broncos looked set to grab a late winner when Corey Oates burst through the Rabbitohs line, but Cook came to the visitors' rescue at Suncorp Stadium, cutting the winger down mere centimetres from the line.

Cook's tackle capped a fine individual display from the Australia international, who set up two tries and scored what proved to be the winner on Friday.

Adam Reynolds' penalty had got Souths started, with Dane Gagai helping himself to the game's first try in the 23rd minute.

David Fifita pulled the Broncos to within touching distance, though, and after successfully adding the extras, Jamayne Isaako converted a penalty to level proceedings after the interval.

Another Reynolds penalty and a try from Cody Walker restored the Rabbitohs' lead, though, with Cook going over moments later.

Fifita doubled his tally before Kotoni Staggs' try set up a grandstand finish, but the Broncos could not find a winner.

While the Broncos remain in the top eight, Penrith Panthers missed out on the chance to overtake one of their rivals for a finals spot as they went down 24-10 to the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

The Cowboys took an early lead through Kyle Feldt, and though Brian To'o hauled the Panthers level, Murray Taulagi's try saw the hosts pull clear at half-time.

Feldt helped himself to a second after the interval, with Jason Taumalolo on hand to wrap up a comfortable victory late on, ending a five-game winless streak for the Cowboys.

elbourne Storm can seal the minor premiership this week as the NRL season heads towards its conclusion.

The Storm are four points clear with three games to play and face bottom side Gold Coast Titans on Sunday.

A win in that game and defeat for Sydney Roosters at St George Illawarra Dragons will see Melbourne clinch top spot, while third-placed Canberra Raiders take on fourth-placed Manly Sea Eagles in a crucial clash between two teams out to ensure they cannot be eliminated in the first round of the Finals.

Here we look at the best Opta facts for this round of fixtures.

Thursday

Parramatta Eels (13-8) v Canterbury Bulldogs (8-13)

- The Bulldogs have made the most offloads (287) of any NRL team this year, 21 more than the Eels (266).

- Mitchell Moses (Parramatta Eels) has made the most try assists (20) of any half-back this season.

Friday

North Queensland Cowboys (7-14) v Penrith Panthers (10-11)

- The Panthers have retained the most kicks (145) of any team, 29 more than the Cowboys (116).

- Michael Morgan has had six try involvements (two tries, four assists) from his last four NRL matches against the Panthers.

Brisbane Broncos (10-1-10) v South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-8)   

- The Broncos have made the most tackle breaks (822) of any team this season, 146 more than the Rabbitohs (676).

- South Sydney are one of two teams – along with the Storm – to have more than one player inside the top 13 for try assists this season (Damien Cook on 22 and Cody Walker on 14).

Saturday

Cronulla Sharks (10-11) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-12)   

- Six of the last seven NRL games between Cronulla and the Warriors have been decided by a margin of four points or fewer, including a 19-18 win for the New Zealanders in their last meeting.

- The Sharks have won six of their last eight NRL matches on home soil (L2), despite leading at half time only three times in that span.

Wests Tigers (9-12) v Newcastle Knights (9-12)  

- The Knights have scored 37 tries through the middle-third of the field, only the Storm (45) have got more through that corridor this term. 

- Luke Brooks (Tigers) has had eight try involvements (three tries, five try assists) from his last six NRL matches against the Knights. 

St George Illawarra Dragons (7-14) v Sydney Roosters (15-6)   

- The Dragons have made the most tackles per game (369) of any team in NRL this year, 30 more than the Roosters (339).

- The Roosters' trio of James Tedesco (11), Latrell Mitchell (8) and Victor Radley (7) have made the most supported breaks of all players this season.

Sunday

Melbourne Storm (17-4) v Gold Coast Titans (4-17)  

- The Titans have scored the joint-most tries (five, also Manly Sea Eagles) on the zero tackle in a set of any NRL team in 2019.

- Cameron Munster (Storm) has had 10 try involvements (six tries, four assists) from his six NRL matches against the Titans.


Canberra Raiders (14-7) v Manly Sea Eagles (13-8)   

- The Raiders have scored the joint-most tries (21, also the Roosters) in the first 20 minutes of matches of any team this season.

- Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly) has had 12 try involvements (five tries, seven assists) from his last eight NRL matches against Canberra.

North Queensland Cowboys prop Matt Scott has suffered a mild stroke, the NRL club have confirmed.

The veteran is recovering in hospital after falling ill on Sunday, but doctors believe the incident is unrelated to rugby league.

Scott, who has 268 NRL games under his belt, is due to retire at the end of the season and initial reports from doctors say they expect the 34-year-old to make a full recovery.

"It's upsetting news, to be honest, and I think everyone's just processing it at the moment," Cowboys coach Paul Green was quoted as saying by the NRL's official website.

"That's not what we expected. We knew he was pretty crook coming off the flight, but for it to be what it is, it is quite surprising. I think everyone's a little bit taken aback by what's actually happened.

"It started Sunday morning and then by the time we arrived in Brisbane, he was pretty crook, so we decided to send him to hospital on our stopover from Brisbane.

"I think like all of your players, you build a pretty special relationship with them along the way. It's similar in some ways, I suppose, to a family – sometimes it's good, sometimes it's uncomfortable, but in the end it's always a strong relationship considering what you go through together."

Canberra Raiders pulled off a stunning comeback to beat NRL leaders Melbourne Storm 22-18, while Newcastle Knights hammered North Queensland Cowboys 42-6 to emphatically end a six-match losing streak.

The Storm could have wrapped up the minor premiership with a win and a Sydney Roosters defeat on Monday, but Raiders battled back from 18-0 down to significantly boost their top-four hopes.

Melbourne were in complete control after 30 minutes, helped the by the early sin-binning of Jack Wighton for a tackle from an offside position, before Joe Tapine was also yellow-carded for a scrap with Nelson Asofa-Solomona.

Justin Olam, Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu all crossed but the Raiders rebounded with 22 unanswered points.

Joe Croker led the way with a brace and he also added the extras to tries from Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii. The Raiders are third, six points behind leaders Storm.

The Knights will have been similarly elated with their showing, as they demolished the Cowboys.

A woeful slump had seen the Knights beaten by New Zealand Warriors, Canterbury Bulldogs, Sydney Roosters, Wests Tigers, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Parramatta Eels since last winning against Brisbane Broncos on June 29.

But they found their groove once again to keep finals hopes alive, with Kalyn Ponga and Mitchell Pearce getting two tries apiece.

The result leaves them two points behind eighth-placed Penrith Panthers.

In the day's late kick-off, South Sydney Rabbitohs suffered a surprise 14-6 defeat at home to the struggling Bulldogs.

Wayne Bennett's men had been hoping to remain level with the Raiders and the Roosters, but they stay in fifth place as a result.

 

The SCG has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Sydney Roosters.

The reigning champions will face a team that has caused them problems though, with New Zealand Warriors their opponents.

Melbourne Storm, six points clear of the Roosters at the top of the table, could potentially wrap up the minor premiership this weekend and they face Canberra Raiders.

We take a look at the key statistics, courtesy of Opta, ahead of round 22.

Thursday

Manly Sea Eagles (12-8) v Wests Tigers (9-11)

- Wests are on a four-game winning streak against Manly, even though they have only led once at half-time across those victories.

- Manly have missed just 27 tackles per game in this season's NRL, the fewest of any team in the competition.

Friday

Gold Coast Titans (4-16) v Parramatta Eels (12-8)

- The Titans have not lost a home game to the Eels since 2014, with each of the past half a dozen matches between the two won by the team hosting the fixture.

- No team has gained more metres per restart than the Eels, who have accrued 12.3m.

Brisbane Broncos (9-1-10) v Penrith Panthers (10-10)

- Brisbane wing Corey Oates has made five successful interceptions in 2019, two more than any other player.

- The Broncos have only suffered only two regular-time defeats to Penrith in their previous 13 meetings.

Saturday

Newcastle Knights (8-12) v North Queensland Cowboys (7-13)

- The Cowboys are on their longest winning streak against the Knights having won four in a row.

- They will need to be mindful of Shaun Kenny-Dowall, though, given he has scored five tries in his past seven NRL appearances.

Melbourne Storm (17-3) v Canberra Raiders (13-7)

- Melbourne will win the minor premiership if they beat Canberra and the Roosters lose to the Warriors on Sunday.

- The Storm have won their last five successive NRL games against the Raiders, conceding an average of just 10 points per match in that span.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-7) v Canterbury Bulldogs (7-13)

- Souths are on a four-game winning streak against the Bulldogs, their longest sequence since an eight-match run between 1967 and 1969.

- After scoring a hat-trick for the Rabbitohs last time out, Campbell Graham took his tally to six scores in his previous five appearances.

Sunday

Sydney Roosters (14-6) v New Zealand Warriors (8-1-11)

- The Warriors have lost only three of their past 10 NRL games against the Roosters in New South Wales, yet they have lost nine of their previous 10 contests played on a Sunday.

- Trent Robinson's Roosters have won six on the bounce at the SCG, scoring an average of 40 points per game in that span.

Cronulla Sharks (9-11) v St George-Illawarra Dragons (7-13)

- Only the Raiders (16) have scored more tries from kicks this year than the Sharks (14).

- Cronulla's Shaun Johnson needs 11 more points to reach 1,000 in NRL, a milestone that only six active players have reached.

Brisbane Broncos playmaker Jake Turpin snatched a dramatic 18-14 win to inflict misery on North Queensland Cowboys in a fiery final derby showdown at 1300SMILES Stadium.

The Cowboys were on the brink of ending a three-match NRL losing streak at the expense of their rivals on Thursday, but Turpin slipped his way through for a match-winning try with just under a minute to go.

It may not only be the points that North Queensland, who will have a new home next season, lose after a stormy contest.

Josh McGuire could find himself in disciplinary trouble after appearing to make contact close to David Fifita's eye with his hand while the Broncos player was on the ground.

McGuire was given a record $4,500 fine for grappling with the face of Dylan Walker in June, having been guilty of a similar offence on Cameron Munster earlier in the season.

Brisbane opened the scoring with an early four-pointer from Anthony Milford, brilliantly set up by Jamayne Isaako, but it was 6-6 at the break following a converted Shane Wright score.

Jake Clifford's clever solo effort put the hosts in front and he was on target with a penalty nine minutes from time to give Cowboys a slender advantage after Fifita went over at the other end.

The Broncos had the final say, though, Turpin wriggling his way through to go under the posts for a converted try, moving his side up to seventh place as Paul Green's Cowboys failed to withstand huge late pressure.

An exciting week of NRL action sees the top four teams face off on Sunday.

Round 21 concludes with Melbourne Storm travelling to South Sydney Rabbitohs, who sit in fourth, with their clash following on from third-placed Canberra Raiders taking on second-placed Sydney Roosters.

The Storm may face a tricky test but history weighs heavily in their favour.

We bring you all the best Opta facts from those two fixtures and the rest of the NRL games coming up.

Thursday

North Queensland Cowboys (7-12) v Brisbane Broncos (8-1-10)

- The Broncos have won their past three NRL matches against the Cowboys, their best run in this fixture since a seven-match streak from July 2007 to August 2010.

- The Cowboys have scored 12 tries in the final 10 minutes of the first half of NRL matches in 2019, the most of any team.

Friday

New Zealand Warriors (7-1-11) v Manly Sea Eagles (12-7)

- Six of the Warriors' past seven matches have been decided by four points or fewer, though they have recorded three victories in those close encounters.

- Manly have scored six tries starting from a kick-off in 2019, the most of any team. They also have the forward with the most carries in the competition, with Martin Taupau registering 299 so far.

Penrith Panthers (9-10) v Cronulla Sharks (9-10)

- The Sharks have won 12 of their past 14 NRL matches against the Penrith Panthers, including the previous seven on the bounce.

- Penrith's Nathan Cleary has scored two tries, provided an assist and not missed a single goal attempt (nine from nine) in his past three NRL matches against the Sharks.

Saturday

St George Illawarra Dragons (6-13) v Gold Coast Titans (4-15)

- The Titans have scored 16 tries in NRL 2019 after the opposition has made an error, the second most of any team in this campaign when starting a set in the same fashion.

- Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes has made the most tackles (932) of any player in 2019.

Parramatta Eels (11-8) v Newcastle Knights (8-11)

- The Knights have won 11 of their past 13 NRL matches against the Eels, including the most recent four games in that span.

- Parramatta have scored 13 tries in 2019 from their own half of the field, the second most of all teams this term from that range. Sydney Roosters top the list with 14.

Canterbury Bulldogs (6-13) v Wests Tigers (9-10)

- The Bulldogs have kept Wests scoreless in the first half of their past two meetings, winning on both occasions. Canterbury have triumphed in four of their past six clashes.

- The Tigers have scored 21 tries on the sixth tackle, the most of any team this year.

Sunday

Canberra Raiders (13-6) v Sydney Roosters (13-6)

- The Roosters have scored the most tries (84) of any team in 2019, 11 more than the Raiders (73) who have scored the third most.

- Canberra’s Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (1193) and James Tedesco of the Roosters (975) have made the most metres from kick returns of all players.

South Sydney Rabbitohs (13-6) v Melbourne Storm (16-3)

- The Storm have won 20 of their past 23 NRL matches against the Rabbitohs, including their most recent encounter last September by a single point (29-28).

- The Rabbitohs' Damien Cook has made the most try assists (22) of any player, seven more than Cameron Munster for Melbourne.

Robbie Farah was on the scoresheet as Wests Tigers moved into the top eight with a comfortable 28-4 NRL win over North Queensland Cowboys on Friday.

Farah announced he will retire from rugby league at the end of the season and boosted hopes of his final campaign stretching into the finals as Wests eased past the Cowboys at Leichardt Oval.

Esan Marsters opened the scoring for the Tigers before Farah went over from dummy half to make it 10-0.

Paul Momirovski scored out wide on the left in the 20th minute and, though the Cowboys stemmed the tide for the rest of the first half, Moses Mbye added a penalty before the hour to make the gap three converted tries.

Kyle Feldt got the Cowboys on the board but a second from Marsters and a 76th-minute effort from Chris Lawrence added the finishing touches to a dominant Tigers display.

Wests move up into seventh place on the back of their second straight win, with the Cowboys four points off the top eight after a third successive loss.

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