Monday 26 August 2013 4:33 PM
• Wayne Ulugia joined a very exclusive club by scoring two tries in his NRL debut match on Saturday night. The only other Cowboy to pick up a double in his first game was another winger, Marshall Miller, who bagged his two tries in round 15 of the 1996 season against the Wests Magpies, a game North Queensland lost 40-32 in front of just over 5000 fans at Campbelltown. Hailing from Mackay, Miller only made seven top-grade appearances for North Queensland, six in the ’96 season and one in the Super League competition in 1997. He also scored two tries in an 11-6 win against the South Queensland Crushers. Since his first game, more than 200 players have made their debut for the Cowboys without snaring a double – until Ulugia came along. “I remember Marshall was very, very quick,” Cowboys life member and high performance manager Paul Bowman said today. If you have any information on what Marshall is doing now, get in touch via email@example.com.
• Cowboys coach Neil Henry didn’t get much sleep after his team’s win against the Knights for a very good reason. Along with his wife Kath, Neil took part in the Relay for Life walk for Cancer Council Queensland at Tony Ireland Stadium between 2am and 6am on Sunday. After a couple of hours’ sleep, he was back at Cowboys HQ for the members’ carnival and to start preparations for the round 25 match against Cronulla.
• Under-20s five-eighth Alex Grant gained the full attention of the NRL squad when he scored one of the individual tries of the season in the comeback win against Newcastle on Saturday. They were watching the stadium feed of the match on the TVs in the dressing room as they prepared for their clash and cheered Alex on as he went on his weaving 65-metre run. Starting with a JT-like show-and-go, he beat six would-be defenders before getting the ball down despite being surrounded by five Knights. It earned him the NYC play of the day in the post-match awards.
• The other awards handed out at the Cowboys Leagues Club on Saturday night went to Jayden Hodges (NYC player of the match), Johnathan Thurston (NRL player of the match) and Gavin Cooper (NRL play of the day for a try-saving tackle when we only led 14-6).
• Last week, the Insider told you about 2014 NYC squad member Coen Hess’s hat-trick of tries on debut in the Townsville A-grade competition. Remarkably, the 17-year-old back-rower scored another three in Brothers’ 40-26 win against Centrals on Sunday.
• Thanks to everyone who has passed on get-well messages to Ray Thompson who had surgery on his broken jaw on Sunday. Ray is very appreciative of all the goodwill that has been sent his way and is looking forward to getting home soon. If he doesn’t make it on to the field for the Cowboys in the finals again this year, he’ll reset his goal to playing in the World Cup for Papua New Guinea.
• After winning four in a row, and climbing closer to a finals berth, the Cowboys are now into $41 with bet365.com.au to win the 2013 premiership. The Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters are joint favourites at $3.50.
• New signing Hezron Murgha is in the capable hands of the Cowboys medical staff after having his knee reconstruction surgery. He’s staying with Joel Riethmuller during the initial period of his recovery before heading home to Cairns. He’ll then be back at Cowboys HQ at the start of pre-season training but isn’t expected back on the field until midway through 2014.
• The NYC squad had a huge result go their way on Sunday when 15th-placed Parramatta upset the 10th-placed Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park. The loss leaves the Storm behind the Cowboys on points for and against (+17 for NQ, -14 for Melbourne), with two rounds remaining. The two clubs are a win behind eighth-placed Brisbane, who have a -96 points differential.
• The winners of two Cowboys flexi-pick memberships in our game day competition from last weekend are Narelle Kirkham and Anthony Poore – they've each picked up an Eastern grandstand ticket for Cowboys v Wests Tigers and an exclusive membership pack.
• Ashton Sims and Test and Origin prop James Tamou will be on air with the Hot FM breakfast teams in Townsville and south-west Queensland on Tuesday morning. Tune in after 7.30am.
• In the WIN News Locker Room with Gavin Cooper this week will be co-captain Matthew Scott and his wife Lauren. You can see what secrets are revealed in the Perfect Partners quiz on Wednesday night’s bulletin at 6.30pm.
• The Cowboys TV crew are on the road capturing images of North Queensland for our 2014 membership commercial. This week they’re in Matt Scott’s home town of Ilfracombe and nearby Longreach.