Scott Moore of the Cowboys passes the ball during the round two NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 16, 2013 in Townsville, Australia.
Scott Moore of the Cowboys passes the ball during the round two NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Melbourne Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 16, 2013 in Townsville, Australia. Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

Titans Kelly thinks Cowboys will provide a tough challenge

TITANS halfback Albert Kelly says he expects the Cowboys to hit back hard after last week's upset defeat by bottom side Wests Tigers.

The north Queenslanders will be without Origin stars Matt Scott, James Tamou, Johnathan Thurston and Brent Tate when they take on the Titans on the Gold Coast today.

But Kelly says the replacements, headed by hard-running forward Jason Taumalolo, will be keen to step up.

"I played against Jason Taumalolo when I was at the Sharks. He's a big bopper, hard to stop and he's very talented," Kelly said.

"They've got a lot of depth all around the park to cover the players that will be out."

Kelly, 22, who continued his outstanding form this season against the Eels last Sunday, scoring a try and running for 160m, said he believed the Cowboys would not lose too much in the halves without star five-eighth Thurston.

"Their halves (Robert Lui and Michael Morgan) like to take on the line a lot. Lui's definitely a strong bloke; he's not one of those little halves like myself," Kelly said.

"He's one to watch."

Kelly's try against the Eels was brilliant - he ran onto an inside ball from Mark Minichiello before producing blinding speed that left New South Wales fullback Jarryd Hayne in his wake.

On the scrapheap because of off-field issues before being thrown a lifeline by the Titans this season, Kelly credited his combination with five-eighth Aiden Sezer, and the confidence shown by his new teammmates for his resurrection.

"Sezer has been great for me. He's so composed and has a great kicking game. We complement each other well," Kelly said.

"And everyone has backed me at training. The players love the second-phase play.

"I don't want to get over confident though."


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