Cowboys INSIDER

• After a hectic schedule highlighted by two very physical games in four days, the Cowboys’ State of Origin contingent are having some well-earned time off. They were excused from being at Cowboys HQ with their teammates on Monday and will sit out the Tuesday afternoon weights session. However, they'lll be back on the training field for the 6pm Tuesday hit-out. “The legs are a bit sore but it’s a good feeling to win a couple of games like that,” NSW and NQ front-rower James Tamou said. 

• There are plenty of people in awe of co-captain Matt Scott’s ability as a front-rower, including his teammates. Here’s what Scott Bolton had to say after Saturday night’s win: “Matt’s got an unbelievable engine and that’s exactly what I’m looking for because I’m looking to get a few more minutes in the team. It’s pretty inspiring seeing a guy doing it like that especially days after Origin, he’s a bit of a maniac. We were up 20 odd points and the bloke just wanted to get back out there and I’m just thinking to myself, ‘he’s a machine’. It’s unbelievable what he’s doing for this club and hopefully he keeps doing it.”

• What do Brent Tate and Rory Kostjasyn have in common with some of biggest names of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil? They joined in a new campaign for sportswear manufacturer Puma by wearing one pink boot and one blue boot in Saturday night’s win against Melbourne. The boots, which they’ll also wear against Parramatta on Friday night, will be auctioned to raise money for the Men of League Foundation. The World Cup stars who will wear the pink/blue combination include Spain’s Cesc Fabregas, Italy’s Mario Ballotelli and Uruguay’s Sergio Aguero.

• Although the on-field referee and video refs ruled a no try, Matt Scott is adamant he correctly grounded the ball when he reached out to score what would have been his fourth try for 2014 on Saturday night. He’s already gone past his record for most tries in an NRL season but said: “I want to take every one I can because I’m sure this run is going to end soon”.

• Our stats leaders from the big win against the Storm were: most metres – Matt Scott (164m); most tackles – Ethan Lowe (40); most offloads – Brent Tate (3); most tackle breaks – Jason Taumalolo/Johnathan Thurston/Michael Morgan (3).

• Quiz time: We’re halfway through the season for the Cowboys – 12 games down and 12 to go – and there are only three players who have made it on to the field in every NRL game so far. Can you name them? Answer at the bottom of the column.

• The post-match award winners from Saturday night were: NRL player of the match – Brent Tate; NRL play of the day – Johnathan Thurston for his short kicking work in the lead-up to Michael Morgan’s try; NYC player of the match – Coen Hess; NYC play of the day – Delayne Ashby for the last-minute kick that led to the match-winning try.

• Until last Saturday night, the last time the Cowboys had kept their opponents scoreless was in round five last season – final score: NQ 30 Penrith 0.

• The semi-finals of the Aaron Payne Cup will be played at the Mackay Junior Rugby League grounds on Wednesday. Kirwan High School from Townsville take on St Patrick’s College Mackay at 11am and defending champions St Brendan’s College Yeppoon take on Ignatius Park College from Townsville at 2.50pm.

• We recently ran a competition where you could 'pick your prize' – either four tickets to the Queenslander or a $500 voucher for the Cowboys Team Shop. Our winner was Annan Whittington, who chose the merch voucher. Thanks to everyone who entered.

• A 10-point haul against the Storm has lifted JT to top spot on the NRL point-scorers’ list for 2014. He now has 102 points for the season to lead Wests Tigers’ Pat Richards and Canberra’s Jarrod Croker. JT is also No.1 in the NRL for try assists.

• This week’s birthday boy is Rory Kostjasyn who turns 27 on Friday, game day against the Eels.

Zac Santo will be in the Hot FM Townsville studios with Ashton Sims on Thursday morning. You can hear them on the Cliffo and Tianna breakfast show after 7am.

• Congratulations to Marian Manser, winner of a $150 Stockland voucher in last weekend's game day competition.

• Big League reporter Nick Janzen spent the weekend in Townsville to research a number of Cowboys stories. You’ll see them in upcoming issues of the NRL’s official magazine.

JT will be a special guest on Sterlo on Fox Sports 1 on Thursday night. He’ll be in the program’s first segment, kicking off at 7.30pm.

Quiz answer: Michael Morgan, Scott Bolton, Rory Kostjasyn

Whittington