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The Dragons will face the team they opened their season against in the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 15.

There isn't much splitting the two sides across their 31 encounters, with the Cowboys claiming the slight advantage (16 wins to the Dragons' 15).

Only one point separates the two sides in attack throughout the course of the season (Dragons with 237 points, Cowboys 238), while the Dragons (299 points) have conceded only nine points more than the Cowboys (290).

Further contributing to the close nature of the contest, both sides share the same completion rate of 77 per cent and a similar tackle efficiency percentile (Dragons 88.3 per cent, Cowboys 87.1 per cent).

However, one telling statistic that could be a key factor is total kick metres. Dragons halves Ben Hunt and Corey Norman have the fourth-best kick metres competition wide (7,416). The Cowboys have the lowest (6,464) which is likely a factor of their ever-changing halves partnerships throughout 2019.

Danger man
Jason Taumalolo

There are few sceptics to the opinion that Jason Taumalolo is the most damaging forward in the game. At 191 centimetres and weighing in at 117 kilograms, the Tongan wreaking ball busts tackles for fun and averages an astounding 212.7 metres per game.

Dragons fans are still reeling from Taumalolo's devastating performance back in Round 1. In 62 minutes, the dual Kiwis and Tongan international ran for 286 metres (93 post-contact metres), two line breaks, one try assist and seven tackle breaks.

Containing Taumalolo's impact will be a significant factor in the outcome of Friday's match. 

Key matchups
Cameron McInnes v Jake Granville

The defensive contest in the middle of the field between McInnes and Granville is one to keep an eye on. 

McInnes is one of the leagues top defenders with 604 tackles at a remarkable 94.1 per cent efficiency (14 missed tackles all season). While Granville has ground to make up on his opposite number with 474 tackles at an 89.3 per cent efficiency, he does however, share the hooking role with either Kurt Baptiste or Reuben Cotter.

Jacob Host v Gavin Cooper

With just two games remaining before reaching 300 NRL appearances, Gavin Cooper is one of the most experienced back-rowers in the game, making it a tough assignment for the 37 game experience of Jacob Host.

Across his career, Cooper has had a knack for finding the try line with 77 total tries next to his name. So far this season Cooper has two tries and also two line breaks. But the experienced veteran has struggled for metres this season averaging just 78 running metres.

Host has been playing increased minutes in his past two matches and contested the whole 80 minutes. Two weeks ago against the Bulldogs, Host had his best game this season with 176 running metres, a line break and a try assist. Host will need another strong performance to outclass the experienced Cooper.