Cowboys INSIDER

Gavin Cooper’s comeback to the NRL squad last week came at such short notice the Cowboys weren’t able to arrange for his jersey to carry the usual wording that honours a player who brings up a century of NRL games for the club. However, his No.19 Thor jersey has now been sent away to be embroidered as a keepsake of his milestone match. Coops, who is the 18th Cowboy to reach the 100-game mark for the club, received his 100th game jersey from former forward Peter Jones in a pre-game presentation.

• The Cowboys Old Boys enjoyed a great weekend of sharing stories about old times and mixing with the current NRL squad for the annual Old Boys reunion. Events kicked off with a pre-game luncheon with the 2014 team on Friday and included being special guests in the dressing room following the victory against the Titans. Every era of the club was represented, from Cowboy No.1 Laurie Spina through to recently retired Aaron Payne, Ash Graham and Dallas Johnson, and there’s sure to be an even bigger turnout of former players next year when we celebrate our 20th anniversary.

• Unlike some of his teammates, Matthew Wright wasn’t afraid to get up close and personal with a friendly python from Billabong Sanctuary at our Members Carnival on Sunday. There were a couple of fellow Cowboys who were very quick off the mark to find something else to do when the idea of cuddling the snake was suggested.

• Saturday night’s 20-point winning margin was the biggest the Cowboys have achieved against the Gold Coast. It surpassed the 34-18 win from Skilled Park in 2009.

• Congratulations to Rachel Ash, winner of our game day competition – Rachel has won a signed Thor jersey!

• A couple of weeks ago we wrote about Kane Linnett switching from his usual left centre to take over from the injured Brent Tate at right centre. That situation has changed again with Kane resuming his partnership with Antonio Winterstein on the left against the Titans. Tautau Moga and Matt Wright were the duo on our right edge – Wright on the wing in attack and in the centre position in defence.

• Johnathan Thurston became only the 16th player to reach 1,500 career points in NRL/NSWRL/ARL history when he converted Michael Morgan’s first-half try against the Titans. He’s also reached 158 points for the 2014 season to be just 44 behind his best return in the season for the Cowboys (202 in 2009).

• Our stats leaders from the win against the Titans were: most metres – Matt Scott (210m); most tackles – Tariq Sims (31); most tackle busts – Jason Taumalolo (9); most try assists – Johnathan Thurston (4); most linebreaks – Kane Linnett (2); most linebreak assists – Johnathan Thurston (3).

• The superhero theme for last Saturday's game was a popular one, with lots of members and supporters dressing up for the night. The winners of our best-dressed superhero photo competition were: @neilmcdowall, @schmittybrew, @nettyowen, @jeremygalvin93 and @MYC1981. 

• Congratulations to Barcaldine State School who are this year’s Matt Scott Cup champions. They defeated St Joseph's Blackall in the grand final and received the cup from our co-captain’s sister Jo.

• Brent Tate’s commitment to the Cowboys hasn’t dropped since he suffered his season-ending knee injury. As well as being a regular figure at Cowboys HQ despite being on crutches, the Test and Origin back turned up to help out at the Cowboys Academy session in Brisbane last week.

• Sam Hoare will be in the Hot FM Townsville studios with Ashton Sims on Tuesday morning. You can hear them on the breakfast show after 7.30am.

• See what trick shot Glenn Hall has to offer on the WIN News Locker Room in Wednesday night’s bulletin. It will be on air around 7.15pm.

• Our award winners from Saturday night's games were: NRL player of the match – Jason Taumalolo; NRL play of the day – Gavin Cooper for his try; NYC player of the match – Cooper Bambling; and NYC play of the day – Viliame Kikau for his charge down that led to a second-half try. Be at the Cowboys Leagues Club this Saturday night for the official post-match function for Cowboys v Wests Tigers.

• The Cowboys, who have the competition’s best defensive record at home, are now into $15 and rated as sixth favourite for the NRL premiership with bookmakers bet365.com.au. Manly are the title favourites at $3.50.