Monday 18 March 2013 5:55 PM
• It’s a big milestone week for Johnathan Thurston, who will bring up 200 matches for his NRL career when he runs out against Newcastle on Monday night. JT made his NRL debut as a 19-year-old for the Bulldogs and had played 29 matches before moving north. He has now played 170 matches for the Cowboys and has scored 1211 points in his NRL career. Look out for a special JT tribute story on cowboys.com.au closer to the big night.
• Another milestone will be celebrated by right winger Ash Graham, who will notch up 150 appearances for the Cowboys. Now in his eighth season with North Queensland, Ash has tallied 80 tries after bagging his third for the season against Melbourne last Saturday night.
• The Cowboys’ NRL squad had their player headshots taking by Channel Nine’s Wide World of Sports crew on Monday. Looking a little battered and bruised were JT, who ended up with a black and red eye after his try-saving tackle in the first half on Saturday night, and Ray Thompson, whose ankle is in a walking boot. JT also recorded a short segment where he shows off his singing voice on a Pitbull tune. That will screen later in the season.
• Thanks to a big surge last week, our membership figure has crashed through the 10,000 barrier. We’ve started this week sitting on 10,121 members as we close in on our target of 12,000 for 2013.
• Look out for recently retired Cowboys hooker Aaron Payne to appear on Fox Sports’ NRL coverage soon. Payney is set to become their sideline eye for matches at 1300SMILES Stadium after going through some training during the Melbourne game. Another former Cowboy, George Gatis, made his debut as 4TO FM’s sideline voice on Saturday night.
• Congratulations to James Tamou and his partner Britney who are expecting their first child later in the year. Yet another Cowboy bub who will grow up in North Queensland!
• The first round of the Aaron Payne Cup has been contested with Kirwan and St Brendan’s Yeppoon the outstanding performers. Kirwan beat Townsville arch-rivals Ignatius Park 32-14, while St Brendan’s downed Emmaus College from Rockhampton 64-4. In the other games, Bentley defeated Abergowrie College 20-10 and St Patricks (Mackay) defeated Mackay SHS 22-10.
• Remember you can meet the Cowboys after every home game at the Cowboys Leagues Club when the match awards from the night’s encounters are presented. On Saturday night, Matthew Scott won the NRL player of the match for his 161 metres and 32 tackles against the Storm, Antonio Winterstein was the play of the day award winner, with Brady Williams the NYC player of the match.
• The WIN News Locker Room with Gavin Cooper is back for another season and this year the players’ partners are in the spotlight. This week it’s Brent Tate and wife Lani who will feature. WIN News airs each weeknight at 6.30pm.
• The Northern Pride won the all-North Queensland match-up in the Mal Meninga Cup under-18s competition on the weekend. The 36-14 victory lifted the Pride to six points in Pool B, equal with the Townsville Stingers who had a bye.
• Cowboys NYC squad member Hayden Crowley picked up two tries in University’s 16-6 win against Brothers in the TDRL A-grade competition at the weekend. Also in the Uni team was Cowboys NRL squad member Felise Kaufusi who was very strong up the middle for the Saints.