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Photo: Lori Neilsen

• The Toyota Cowboys are considering their options after back-rower Tariq Sims was hit with a charge by the NRL match review panel that could rule him out of the rest of the finals series. The grade three shoulder charge from Saturday night’s win against Brisbane carries a penalty of five weeks if Sims lodges an early guilty plea and seven weeks should he contest it and fail at the NRL judiciary. The Cowboys received the charge list from the NRL just before lunchtime today and have until noon tomorrow to lodge a plea. Football staff reviewed various angles of the second-half incident this afternoon after completing their post-match analysis of the Broncos victory with the NRL squad.

Gavin Cooper’s two tries ended a bit of a try drought for our popular back-rower. His year started well with four-pointers in each of the first two rounds but his only try since then came in round 21 against the Titans, although you have to consider he was sidelined for a couple of months with a dislocated hip. “I was trailing Thumper (Matt Scott) in tries this year until now. That can’t be a good thing,” Coops joked.

Cameron King will be the Cowboys’ representative at the RLPA awards in Sydney tomorrow night. Johnathan Thurston is a contender for the Players’ Player of the Year and Representative Player of the Year awards. It’s also Kingy’s birthday this week – he turns 23 on Wednesday.

• If you’re looking for match commentary with more of a Cowboys slant, tune in to the Cowboys Call Team which provides the best radio coverage of all of our matches. The team is on 4TOFM and associated stations from Gladstone to Cairns.

• Our stats leaders from Saturday night’s win against the Broncos were: most metres – Matt Scott (132m); most tackles – Gavin Cooper (34); most try assists – Johnathan Thurston and Robert Lui (two); most tackle breaks – Michael Morgan and Gavin Cooper (7); most linebreaks – Gavin Cooper (three); most linebreak assists – Robert Lui (three).

Johnathan Thurston’s 12 points against the Broncos has taken his tally this season to 220, just 10 behind the club record held by Josh Hannay since 2003. Can JT break it this Friday night against the Chooks?

• A very busy JT was the Cowboys’ representative at the Captains Call held in Sydney last week for all eight NRL finals captains. In three hours he managed to shoot pre-game footage for Channel Nine; have his photograph taken by News Limited twice; be interviewed in one-on-ones by Fox Sports, Telstra,, Fox Sports News, Big League, Courier-Mail, Rugby League Weeks and Channel Seven; complete an all-in media conference with various other print, TV and radio media outlets; be photographed with the other captains at the Heroes and Legends Museum at Rugby League Central and at the back of the SCG; and take part in the official launch ceremony.

• The Insider received some clarification on the “nudie run” last week. Tries in finals don’t count apparently so it’s too late for the likes of Ashton Sims, Scott Bolton, John Asiata and Sam Hoare to save themselves this year.

• The post-match award winners from Saturday night (and thanks to the hundreds who stayed at the Leagues Club until after midnight to see them handed out) were: player of the match – Gavin Cooper and play of the day – Michael Morgan for his second-half try.

Ben Spina made a much earlier return than expected from a hand injury for the Northern Pride on Saturday. Originally ruled out for the season after severing tendons in his hand in a work accident, the front-rower was back after just six weeks out. He was able to beat the original diagnosis following long hours with hand specialists.

JT will be a special guest on Sterlo on Fox Sports 1 this week. He’ll be on just after 7.30pm.

• Our defending champions will know who their opponents are in the group stage of the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines when the draw is released tomorrow morning. We’ll have the details on after 10am.

• There’ll be plenty of Cowboys content in Big League magazine this week including a one-on-one chat with Michael Morgan and a feature story on Robert Lui. Get your copy at newsagents from Thursday.

• There will be a strong contingent on NYC Cowboys featuring in the Townsville A-grade grand final at the Sports Reserve on Sunday. Kurt Perry, Rainer Power and Jack Brock will line up for the Burdekin Roosters and Jonico Hardwick for Brothers.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.