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Year 2 - 1996

Having formed an identity as North Queensland's team and showing glimpses of brilliance in 1995, steady improvement on the playing field was evident in 1996.

New players to the club included former Brisbane Bronco Martin Locke, Steve Edmed from Balmain and Canberra's Jason Death.

Josh Hannay made rugby league history by being the second youngest player to be named in the starting line up for an ARL match, at just 16.

Rugby League was again shrouded in off field drama as the ARL/Super League debate ended up in court.

After the 1995 season, the Cowboys franchise formed a joint venture with News Ltd which allowed input of extra funding to further redevelop facilities for 1996.

Cowboy fans continued to fill the stadium, enjoying lively pre match entertainment and supporting a team who represented the region with pride.

Under new coach Graeme Lowe, the Cowboys had several memorable victories including the first "back to back" wins over Newcastle and Cronulla.

Season statistics

  • Captains: Paul Galea, Dean Schifilitti
  • Coach: Graeme Lowe
  • Won 6 games (4 at home), lost 18
  • Points for 268, points against 643
  • Top point scorer: Shane Howarth with 49 (1 try, 21 goals, 3 field goals)
  • Finished: 17th (20 team competition)
  • Player of the Year: Steve Edmed
  • Average home crowd: 19,336