NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v MANLY SEA EAGLES
NYC Round 26
5.15pm, Saturday 6 September, 1300SMILES Stadium
Live updates: twitter.com/nthqldcowboys
Referee: Tim Rutherford
Sideline officials: Nick Morel, Chris Nitsopoulos
Main game: 7.30pm
Cowboys: 1. Yamba Bowie 2. Scott Schulte 3. Lenny Magey 4. Corey Jensen 5. Conor Carey 6. Ty Carucci 7. Delayne Ashby 8. Patrick Kaufusi 9. Josh Chudleigh 10. Viliame Kikau 11. Coen Hess 12. Jordan Kenworthy 13. David Munro. Interchange: 14. Bill Cullen 15. Andrew Niemoeller 16. Jack Kelleher 17. Ben Mathiou.
Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Latrel Schaumkel 3. Charlie Taylor 4. Luke Garner 5. Luke Gosling 6. Will Pearsall 7. Nicholas Lynn 8. Jordan Latham 9. Michael Stigg 10. Evan Lee 11. Jamil Hopoate 12. Leonati Feiloakitua 13. Jack Delaney. Interchange: 14. Hugh Pratt 15. Dallas Koen 16. Nicholas Lynn 17. James Parker 18. Mitch Britton.
RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD: One of the Cowboys’ best performances of the year came in the round seven meeting with the Sea Eagles at Gosford. They won 30-16 on Good Friday in a match that featured five lead changes. Overall, the under-20s head-to-head is 5-3 in Manly’s favour.
FORM GUIDE: The Cowboys have lost their last three and risk slipping from 12th place to 14th if they don’t come up with a victory here. Manly are in 11th place, seven points clear of North Queensland, and just one point away from the top eight after back-to-back victories against Parramatta and Penrith. They will know if they can make the finals by the time the Saturday evening kick off rolls around.
HOME AND AWAY: NQ have won four out of 11 at home this year, while the Sea Eagles are looking for their fifth away victory.
KEY STAT: The Cowboys’ completion rate was a very respectable 82.5% (33 from 40) against the Sharks, who managed just 23 from 33 (69.7%). The 10 complete sets difference should have resulted in an NQ victory but their attack in the 20-metre zone let them down badly.
WHO’S NEW FOR NQ: Rookie Ty Carucci returns for the Cowboys at five-eighth while Patrick Kaufusi is back from Intrust Super Cup duties for the Northern Pride to strengthen the Cowboys’ forward pack. It’s only the second time this year that Kaufusi has been able to team up with Viliame Kikau in the front-row.
COWBOY TO WATCH: There’s a new role for vice-captain Corey Jensen this week in his last game in the under-20s competition. He’ll play in the centres where his strong running coupled with usually watertight defence should help the NQ backline be more effective.
EAGLE TO WATCH: Tom Trbojevic looks to be an NRL player of the future for the Sea Eagles. Last week against Penrith, he tallied 238 running metres, eight tackle busts, five offloads, two try assists, two linebreak assists and a try.
THE COWBOYS’ FINAL SAY – COACH TODD WILSON:
Last week’s disappointing result against the Sharks was one that got away.
We created numerous opportunities to score points and were let down by our execution when it mattered.
This is the last opportunity for this group to play together on Saturday and for some players, their final chance to wear the Cowboys NYC jersey.
Positions on the ladder at this stage of the season count for little.
It is at our home ground, on our home turf, in front of our own members and supporters and our effort and performance must reflect that.