North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s speedster Gideon Mosby has been the toast of his teammates this week after breaking the National Youth Competition’s try-scoring record. Mosby’s double against the Rabbitohs in their Round 23 clash at 1300SMILES Stadium last Thursday saw the Cairns junior break and then extend West Tigers player Jake Mullaney’s 2009 mark of 29 tries in a season. Mosby currently has 31 four-pointers and with three regular season games remaining, plus finals, so the magical 40 mark is not out of reach.
A popular player among his teammates, the quietly spoken Torres Strait product possesses blistering pace, a quality recently lampooned by the Cowboys’ graphic artist recently with this depiction of Mosby as the Road Runner. Like most teenagers, the Cowboys under-20s are very much plugged into social media, and the Road Runner caricature was shared among the team to much amusement. Mosby’s teammates are also very proud of his tryscoring record, with several of them hanging about to gently chide him during a photo shoot and interview with the Townsville Bulletin this week.
Speaking of photo shoots and promotions, Channel Nine Sydney have trod a well-worn path to Townsville this week, with two separate crews doing filming on consecutive days.
On Tuesday, the Channel Nine footy coverage team arrived at 1300SMILES Stadium to film several Cowboys players in full kit to be use in promotional material in several weeks’ time. The hour-long session involved eight players in full kit, with fireworks employed in front of a setting Townsville sun for dramatic effect. The end product should look spectacular, so keep an eye peeled on Nine in the coming weeks.
While waiting to the sun to dip behind the eastern grandstand, the players joked around with the Nine crew, all men in good spirits as they head into the final three regular season games of 2015. Most of them, though, did complain about the tightness of the jerseys they were given to wear. Veteran backrower Gavin Cooper, in particular looked a tad uncomfortable when his normal ‘XL’ size jersey was inadvertently swapped out for an ‘L’.
On the Wednesday, Sunday Footy Show reporter Bill Baxter and camera crew lobbed into town for an in-depth chat with foundation player and current club high-performance manager Paul Bowman for its Legends of League segment.
The pair talked early days of the Cowboys, State of Origin, the heartbreak of the 2005 grand final loss, life after footy and all manner of other topics, with Bowman also revealing how he got his famous nickname of “Bear”. That segment is due to air on the Sunday Footy Show in coming weeks also.
The Cowboys face one of the competition’s toughest road trips this weekend when they head to Auckland to take on the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.
With no direct international flights out of Townsville at this point in time, the team always have to catch a domestic flight to a capital city before hopping across the ditch. The team traditionally travel a day earlier than normal and on Thursday the players and staff were up at dawn for a flight to Brisbane.
The team will recovered in New Zealand overnight then have the full day on Friday to prepare for the Saturday night match.
But, as with any international flights, passports are required for the trip to New Zealand and Cowboys General Manager – Football Peter Parr was a busy man this week rounding up errant passport that may have not been used for a while. Some were located in cars, two in Mackay and other at Cowboys HQ, but all’s well that ends well and the team arrived safely in the Land of the Long White Cloud in their bid to halt a two-game winless streak.
On Thursday night in Auckland while readying to go to a team dinner, Cowboys players and officials rubbed shoulders with New Zealand VIPs at their city hotel. Kiwi Prime Minister John Key was at the hotel for a black tie function, and his security detail cleared a path between the Cowboys players milling around the lobby waiting to leave for the restaurant. Mr Key stopped and spoke to several players, boldly declaring that the third-placed North Queensland team would ‘smash’ the 10th-placed Warriors.