Eleven NYC Cowboys will have the chance to win a national title when they line up for the Townsville Stingers against the Sydney Roosters in the under-18s final at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Already the Mal Meninga Cup victors for 2014 after beating Norths earlier this month, the Stingers will face NSW’s SG Ball champions to determine the best under-18 team in the country.
Townsville’s starting lineup contains 10 NYC Cowboys, including halfback Cooper Bambling, who made his under-20s debut for North Queensland against Brisbane last Friday night, and back-rower Coen Hess, who has played four NYC matches already in his rookie season after debuting against Newcastle in round five.
The other NYC Cowboys in the run-on 13 are fullback Jesse Pomare-Anderson, winger Gideon Mosby-Gela, centre Sam Smith, five-eighth Ty Carucci, props Kurt De Luis and Nick Brown, second-rower Regan Grieve and lock Jordan Kenworthy.
Interchange forward Tyrone Pritchard is also a member of North Queensland’s under-20s, while centre Rhein Frank, winger Richie Munchow and hooker Calum Gahan hold junior contracts with the club.
The Roosters will travel north after beating Penrith 34-30 in golden point extra-time in the SG Ball decider at the weekend.
There’s also a Cowboys flavour to the under-16s national final featuring Cyril Connell Cup champions Northern Pride against Harold Matthews Cup winners Newcastle.
Pride fullback Michael Carroll and halfback Jake Clifford have already signed junior contracts with North Queensland, while another six players are part of the Toyota Cowboys Academy program in Cairns.
UNDER 16 NATIONAL FINAL
Northern Pride v Newcastle Knights
1.45pm, Saturday 17 May, 1300SMILES Stadium
Referee: Kieron Irons
Northern Pride: 1. Michael Carroll 2. Dion Wales 3. Brad Spicer 4. Jason Chapman 5. Liu Lockington 6. Jack Campagnolo 7. Jake Clifford 8. Gabrial Bon 9. Patrick Gallen 10. Mitipere Tuatai 11. Johan Turner 12. Yaza Stephen 13. Thomas Flegler 14. Quinlyn Cannon 15. Tristan Subloo 16. Brett Anderson 17. Kornylius Tuimauga 18. Riley Archibald. Coach: Shane O'Flanagan.
Newcastle Knights: 1. Matt Cooper 2. Brayden Musgrove 3. Heath Gibbs 4. Nicolas O’Meley 5. Samuel McIntyre 6. Nash Birch 7. Brendan O’Hagan 8. Pasami Saulo 9. Tom Starling 10. Brodie Jones (c) 11. Joel Taylor 12. Jayden Hocking 13. Kurtis Dark 14. Tex Hoy 15. Matthew Atchison 16. Hudson Young 18. Jack Weir 19. Luke Casson 20. Kynan Blasczak 22. Luke Huth 24. Lachlan Bent. Coach: Anthony Gleeson.
UNDER 18 NATIONAL FINAL
Townsville Stingers v Sydney Roosters
3.20pm, Saturday 17 May, 1300SMILES Stadium
Referee: Nathan Cornick
Townsville Stingers: 1. Jesse Pomare-Anderson 2. Gideon Mosby-Gela 3. Sam Smith 4. Rhein Frank 5. Richie Munchow 6. Ty Carucci 7. Cooper Bambling (c) 8. Kurt De Luis 9. Calum Gahan 10. Nick Brown 11. Regan Grieve (c) 12. Coen Hess 13. Jordan Kenworthy 14. Ben Stanford 15. Dylan Jensen 16. Faron Morris 17. Tyrone Pritchard 18. Dave Casale. Coach: Steve Sheppard.
Sydney Roosters: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Johnny Tuivasa-Scheck 3. Paul Momorovski (c) 4. Chevi Ellis 5. Jack Murchie 6. Travis Edwards 7. Chad O’Donnell 8. Poasa Foamausili 9. Grant Garvey (c) 10. Shiem Fuimaono 11. Reuben Porter 12. Issac Crichton 13. Samet Erten 15. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu 16. Darren Schonig 17. Shaquai Mitchell 18. Ryan King 19. Alex Sama. Coach: Anthony Barnes.