Cowboys INSIDER

• Halfback Johnathan Thurston will play his 220th game for the Cowboys in Monday night’s round 6 match against South Sydney, making him the club's second-most capped player behind Matthew Bowen on 270. The co-captain’s North Queensland debut game was in round 1, 2005, against the Brisbane Broncos. He's also set to bring up another career milestone against the Warriors in round 7 when he plays his 250th NRL match.

• Matthew Wright notched up a three-try haul against the Penrith Panthers in their impressive 30-10 victory at Pepper Stadium on Monday night. The last time the winger bagged a hat-trick was against the Wests Tigers last season in the 64-6 demolition in round 22.

• Jason Taumalolo has certainly been getting the legs pumping on the field. The lock ran 243m in his 20 hit-ups against the Storm in round 4, while against the Panthers in round 5, he again crossed the 200m threshold with 16 hit-ups.

• Lachlan Coote celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday in the best possible way for a rugby league player – the fullback, playing against his old club the Panthers, scored a try in the club’s 20-point win in Penrith. 

• Other April birthday boys are Justin O’Neill (4 April), Zac Santo (8 April), Johnathan Thurston (25 April) and Ben Spina (26 April).

• As far as family history goes, Rory Kostjasyn has a fascinating one. His grandparents on his father’s side are Russian and came to Australia to escape the war. Before arriving they decided to change their name and picked Kostjasyn, which was the name of a church somewhere in their native country. And by the way Rory can’t speak Russian.