Lachlan Coote is expected to be moved on. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Lachlan Coote is expected to be moved on. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Coote and Lowe on outer in Townsville

COWBOYS duo Lachlan Coote and Ethan Lowe remain on the outer at the club, after coach Paul Green opted to stick with the same line-up that fell to the Rabbitohs last week.

Young guns Francis Molo and Enari Taula will retain their spots on the bench for the second grand final rematch of the year, with the Cowboys to host the Storm on Friday.

Premiership-winning pair Coote and Lowe were dropped ahead of last week's clash with South Sydney, with Michael Morgan moving to fullback in place of Coote.

 

Molo took Lowe's spot on the bench while Te Maire Martin went to five-eighth for Morgan, opening the door for Tuala to come into the 17.

And while the side didn't come away with a win over the Rabbitohs, Green said they had looked the best they had in a few weeks and there was no reason to make a change.

"For 79 minutes and 59 seconds, we were the better side," he said of their performance against South Sydney.

"There was a lot more positive stuff to look at … it probably hadn't been there for a couple of weeks.

Te Maire Martin was preferred to Coote.
Te Maire Martin was preferred to Coote.

"It's important we remember there were huge steps in the right direction for us.

"It's about each week picking the best team that we think can get the job done for us that weekend.

"We have Origin around the corner so the team will probably have to be reshuffled again so we'll see what happens there.

"I thought there were some really positive signs, particularly for our attack (last week)."

The only concern for the Cowboys ahead of their meeting with Melbourne is veteran forward Matt Scott, who injured his knee over the weekend.

Lowe will play for the Northern Pride.
Lowe will play for the Northern Pride.

Green said Scott still hasn't completed a full training session but they were hopeful he would be fit to play on Friday night.

Coote is expected to once again play for feeder club Mackay while Lowe should get a game with the Northern Pride.

Both players are off-contract and are under pressure to perform before it's too late.

There have also been suggestions the club are looking at Sharks fullback Valentine Holmes, which is a worrying sign for Coote's future.

However, Green said he was not aware of any talk between the club and Holmes.

"I'm not sure of his contract status," Green said.

"He's a good player … we'd look at anyone, particularly if they're good players.

"That goes for anyone. Valentine Holmes or anyone else."

Meanwhile, Melbourne has received a boost ahead of Friday's clash after backrower Felise Kaufusi re-signed for another two seasons.

The Queensland Origin hopeful signed the extension on Tuesday and will be at the club until at least the end of 2020, with an option of an additional two years.

LIVE stream every game of every round of the 2018 NRL Telstra Premiership on FOX SPORTS. Get your free two-week Foxtel Now trial and start watching in minutes. SIGN UP NOW!