NYC preview: Cowboys v Eels
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Parramatta Eels NYC
2pm, Saturday 6 June, McCredi Oval, Guildford, Sydney
Referee: Chris Treneman
Touch judges: Phil Henderson, Keiron Irons
Cowboys: 1 Yamba Bowie 2 Gideon Mosby 3 Akerpia Tia Kilifi 4 Conor Carey 5 Scott Schulte 6 Ty Carucci 7 Cooper Bambling 8 Braden Uele 9 Andrew Neimoeller 10 Ross Bella 11 Bill Cullen 12 Temone Power 13 Kieran Quabba (c). Interchange: 14 Kyle Laybutt 15 Jordan Kenworthy 16 David Munro 17 Viliame Kikau.
Eels: 1 Bevan French 2 Abbas Miski 3 Atini Gafa 4 Nathan Davis 5 Suliasi Suli 6 Dylan Izzard 7 Troy Dargan 8 Alex Twal 9 Zach Dockar-Clay 10 Brandon Raeli 11 Tyrell Fuimaono 12 Jack Morris 13 Jeff Markus. Interchange: 14 Faimanifo Seve 15 Tom Amone 16 Tepai Tepu-Smith 17 Aaron Pene 18 Craig Field.
The young Cowboys are riding high in the saddle after a dominant last-start win over the Manly Sea Eagles in round 12.
The team are third on the National Youth Competition ladder with an eight-win, one-draw, three-loss record, and will be shooting for a third-straight win at McCredie Oval.
The young Eels sit on 15th on the ladder with a polar opposite record to their opponents: three wins, 1 draw, eight losses.
Despite the apparent gulf between the two teams, the young Cowboys are wary of Parramatta’s forward pack, who will look to win the match with pure power.
Eels hooker Zach Dockar-Clay is a Junior Kiwi half and will be one player the Cowboys will have to keep a close eye on.
Consistency has been the key for the Cowboys in their successful season to date.
Coach Todd Payten has only had to use a total of 23 players over 12 games, which means combinations can be built over subsequent weeks.
The Cowboys’ backline has been virtually untouched all year.
Utility Kyle Laybutt will look to continue putting pressure on starting halves Ty Carucci and Cooper Bambling.
Laybutt played some time at five-eighth last weekend and impressed coaching staff.
COWBOYS COACH TODD PAYTEN: “Continuing to build defensively will be key for us this weekend. We’ve conceded just 20 points in our past two matches, so keeping that level up against the Eels is important.”