NYC preview: Cowboys v Storm

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS v MELBOURNE STORM NYC
3pm (Qld), Saturday 28 March, Jack Manski Oval, Townsville

Live updatestwitter.com/nthqldcowboys
Referee
: Nick Morel 
Sideline officials: Jack Ebert, Chris Nitso
Tickets: $10 adults (Brothers Leagues Club or at the gate), concession $5, under 15 free
Times:
• Gates open: 11.30am
• Cyril Connell Townsville Stingers v CQ Capras: 12pm
• Mal Meninga Townsville Stingers v CQ Capras: 1.30pm
• NQ Cowboys NYC v Melbourne Storm NYC: 3pm
• Townsville Mendi Blackhawks v CQ Capras: 5pm

TEAMS

Cowboys: 1. Yamba Bowie 2. Gideon Mosby 3. Akeripa Tia Kilifi 4. Conor Carey 5. Scott Schulte 6. Ty Carucci 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Viliame Kikau 9. Brandon Smith 10. Braden Uele 11. Coen Hess 12. Andrew Niemoeller 13. Kieran Quabba (c). Interchange: 14. Trey Kemp 15. Jordan Kenworthy 16. David Munro 17. Ross Bella.

Storm: 1. Latrell Robinson 2. Tony Tumusa 3. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 4. Junior Kirisome 5. Max Fesolai 6. Mack Mason 7. Jake Turpin 8. Ben Nakubuwai 9. Connor Donehue 10. Logan Houghton 11. Joe Stimson 12. Charline Galo 13. Ben Halfpenny. Interchange: 14. Zion Ioka 15. Brendan Frei 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Shae Ah Fook 19. Josh Kerr 20. Jerry Leasi.

GAME CHANGERS

When they last played the Storm at home, the Cowboys came from four points down to score a try on the final play of the game. Conor Carey was one of the players who scored that night, and he’ll be hoping to again add to his tally of two so far this season.

Brandon Smith will be working to continue his stellar start to the season. The Cowboys hooker had a sterling match against the Broncos last round with three tries and 37 tackles and should again be the driving force around the ruck.

The Storm’s front row will be hard to handle with prop Logan Houghton chewing up the metres – he ran for 222 metres in last week’s game against the Sharks. Melbourne also lead the competition in offloads, with 43 in just three games.

COACH’S LAST WORDS – Cowboys coach Todd Payten: “The Storm are two from three like us and their 20s bear similar traits to their NRL squad, being a physical team. We know they can strike from anywhere on the park and we need to limit their possession. I’m expecting a very tough contest in hot conditions.”