NYC preview: Cowboys v Panthers
PENRITH PANTHERS NYC v NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC
5.15pm, Saturday 9 April, Pepper Stadium
Referee: Chris Treneman
Touch judges: Phillip Sung, Keiron Irons
Cowboys: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Jesse Pomare-Anderson 3. Nathan Traill 4. Enari Tuala 5. Marcus Jensen 6. Ty Carucci 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Darryn Schonig 9. Brandon Smith 10. Nick Brown 11. Coen Hess (c) 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Jordan Kenworthy. Interchange: 14. Cody Grills 15. Tahanui Tutavake 16. Ross Bella 17. Jack Lote.
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Ratu Tuisese 3. Braidon Burns 4. Robert Jennings 5. Jake Ennis
6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Cowen Epere 9. Wayde Egan 10. Kaide Ellis 11. Corey Waddell 12. Reed Izzard 13. Tyrone May. Interchange: 14. Liam Martin 15. Jack Hetherington 16. Tevita Mapapalangi 17. Jack Nelson.
Defending National Youth Competition premiers, the young Penrith Panthers have started their 2016 campaign off in impressive fashion, winning four of their opening five games.
They have a for-and-against of a whopping +124 points, conceding just 74 points across five matches.
The Cowboys and the Roosters also have just the one loss for the season, with the Cowboys third on the ladder and boasting a points differential of +49 to the Roosters’ +67.
Young Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary is leading the NYC in points scored – he's booted 29 goals from 36 attempts (81%) and last week against the Eels kicked seven from seven in a 42-4 win.
Cleary’s teammate, fullback Dylan Edwards, leads the competition in running metres (871) and tries scored (equal-first with six). He has a mammoth 43 tackle breaks to date.
Hardworking Cowboys lock Jordan Kenworthy continues to impress with his work rate and is second in hit-ups/runs (82) and equal-first in offloads (13).
Cowboys fullback Kalyn Ponga trails only Edwards in kick receipts (39 to 47).
Impressive young Cowboys centre Enari Tuala has the equal-most line breaks in the competition with six.
COACH AARON PAYNE: “This will be a test at a different level against a very strong, large side.”