Monday 17 December 2012 4:48 PM
All the inside news from the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys...
• Cowboys assistant coach Terry Matterson says the coaching staff is happy with how the first half of North Queensland’s 2013 pre-season has progressed. The fifth and final week of the pre-Christmas period is underway and will include on-field and weights sessions at James Cook University on Tuesday morning. “We’d like a few more out training but we knew that would be the case from the start with a few guys having had operations,” Matterson said. “But they’re coming along really well and we can’t believe it’s only a week or so away from the break-up. Pre-season has been great so far.” Matterson revealed that the Cowboys weren’t changing too much with their tactics and strategies for the new season so those players who were missing on-field training were not going to be at a bigger disadvantage than they could have been.
• English hooker Scott Moore has been one of the most impressive Cowboys during the pre-season so far. He has featured predominantly in the lead group in nearly all of the arduous conditioning sessions. “It’s hard to highlight one, but with Scotty it was a big change for him, especially with the weather,” Matterson said. “He seems to have adapted really well. He’s lost a little bit of weight and he’s right up there in all the runs. We’re pretty pleased with him but he needs to keep going. There are quite a few more challenges to come for him yet.” There is a chance Moore will play in the first pre-season trial in Mt Isa on 9 February, although he could be held back for the following week against St George Illawarra in Cairns.
• This month marks a special anniversary for the North Queensland Cowboys. It’s 20 years since we were officially accepted into the then NSWRL competition along with the Auckland Warriors, South Queensland Crushers and Western Reds.
• Test and Origin prop James Tamou hopes his decision to extend his contract with the Cowboys to 2016 will help the club’s bid to keep co-captain Matthew Scott, who is off contract at the end of 2013. “I really hope so. That was another big part (of my re-signing),” he said. “I think he would be pretty keen to stay too. It's somewhere he started and not far from his home. “I really hope the Cowboys can sort it out and hopefully we can stay and basically keep the same bunch of blokes.”
• It wasn’t only 26 Cowboys scholarship holders who had the chance to spend a week at Cowboys HQ last week. Also invited to the four-day camp were a number of coaches who have close ties with the Cowboys development programs, including Cameron Miller (Cairns), Trent Gorrie (Darwin), Andrew Lawrence (Emerald), Casey Bromilow (Rockhampton) and Albie Anderson (Cairns).
• Happy birthday wishes for our final Insider of the year go to NYC squad member Jack Svendsen who turns 19 on Saturday and NRL halfback Michael Morgan who celebrates his 21st on 27 December.
• Don’t forget that voting for both the NRL All Stars and Indigenous All Stars teams is now open. You can pick both squads at www.nrl.com/allstars.
• The Cowboys have been making headlines in Vanuatu thanks to 18-year-old Kunro Kalo. The youngster, who has only limited rugby league experience, has been training with North Queensland’s NYC squad and featured in a segment on Radio Australia’s Pacific service on Friday as well as in the island nation’s main newspaper.
The Insider will return in mid-January with all the latest news from the Cowboys camp as the second section of pre-season training begins. Until then, enjoy your holidays!