Cowboys INSIDER

• Monday night was a special one for the Sims family with all three NRL-playing brothers on the field at the same time in an NRL game – Ashton and Tariq for the Cowboys and Korbin for the Knights. With both North Queensland and Newcastle scarves in her luggage, their mum Jacqui made the trip up from her home near Wollongong to see her three boys in action and they will all treasure the photos taken on the ground following full time. “They’re definitely some to look back on in the future,” Ashton said. “You never know when it might happen again.” There’s a chance the Sims boys will all be teammates again when Fiji plays Samoa in a Four Nations qualifier on 3 May at Penrith.

• The Cowboys took their post-match recovery session off site on Tuesday morning, using the facilities at the Kirwan Aquatic Centre to help get rid of the aches and knocks from the clash with the Knights. It was a big surprise for the young NQ fans who were at the pool for their school holidays when their heroes walked in and spent around 40 minutes in the water, including playing a game of Oldies v Youngies water polo. The match finished 3-all.

• The scheduling of Monday Night Football doesn’t please everyone but it did give North Queensland the rare chance to have all of their NRL squad members together at a home game. Usually the Cowboys who are playing with feeder clubs Mackay Cutters or Northern Pride are away from Townsville when the Cowboys play on a Friday or Saturday night, but this time they were all back at home after weekend action to cheer their teammates on.

• There’s another Cowboy baby on the way. Gavin Cooper and his wife Tenille are expecting their first child who is due to arrive in July. Congrats!

• Matthew Wright’s first try for the Cowboys garnered plenty of publicity. There was a huge picture of him celebrating the four-pointer with Brent Tate on the front page of the Townsville Bulletin and another shot of him scoring on the back page of the Courier-Mail.

• Here are some unusual stats after round five. The Cowboys may be 11th on the ladder but they’ve only conceded 73 points, the second lowest figure amongst the 16 teams, trailing only the Bulldogs (60). North Queensland’s for and against margin of +23 is 32 points better than the ladder-leading Gold Coast Titans and is ahead of six other teams currently in the top eight. 

• The player awards from Monday night’s matches against the Knights went to: NRL player of the match – Gavin Cooper; NRL play of the day – Michael Morgan for his second try; NYC player of the match – Corey Jensen; and NYC play of the day – Coen Hess for his try on debut.

• Robert Lui and Michael Morgan were both named in NRL.com’s Team of the Round on Tuesday. On Lui’s effort against Newcastle they said: “Took over the Johnathan Thurston show against the Knights with a highly polished game including a try assist, a line break and 91 metres”. For Morgan: “The fullback scored two tries against the Knights but his amazing reflexes to knee through an assist for Brent Tate stole the show.”

• Happy birthday wishes this week go to Zac Santo who celebrated his 21st birthday today, NYC squad member Conor Carey who turned 19 on Monday and Lachlan Coote who turned 24 on Sunday.

• Our stats leaders from Monday night: most metres – Ray Thompson (149m); most tackles – Gavin Cooper (35); most tackle breaks – Robert Lui (6); most offloads – Brent Tate (3).

• The Sunday Footy Show will have a Cowboys flavour this week – Brent Tate will be staying down in Sydney after the Wests Tigers game to be a special guest on the Channel Nine/WIN show that starts at 11.30am.

• Here’s what ultra-keen Cowboys member Karrie Webb had to say on Twitter from the US on Monday morning (US time): Great to wake up and see that @nthqldcowboys won against @NRLKnights The boys r back in track!!

• Curtis Rona will join Ashton Sims on air with Cliffo and Tianna on the Hot FM Breakfast Show in Townsville on Thursday morning. They should hit the airwaves just before 7.30am.

• Congratulations to Debbie Brimble, winner of a Cowboys signed football and prize pack in our game day competition from Cowboys v Knights. Look out for your chance to win again at the Eels home game on Saturday 26 April.

• The Townsville Stingers suffered a shock loss to the Central Capras in the lastest round of Mal Meninga Cup fixtures at the weekend, however the 28-22 defeat, the Stingers’ first this year in the under-18 competition, hasn’t knocked them off the top of Pool B. They are on 10 points with the Central Crows but lead the way on for and against. Cowboys NYC squad members Cooper Bambling and Regan Grieve scored tries for Townsville.

Main image: Enjoying BMD Full time field time at Cowboys v Knights!