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Photo: Kalyn Ponga | Photo: Scott Davis ©

5pm, Saturday 23 April, 1300SMILES Stadium       

Referee: Liam Kennedy
Touch judges
: Jack Ebert, Giulian Fichera

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC Aaron Payne has made one change to his team for tonight’s NYC match against the Eels at 1300SMILES Stadium.

Originally named as 18th man, Trey Kemp will come into the starting side, replacing centre Enari Tuala.

The Cowboys under-20s are looking to snap a two-game losing streak today.

The match kicks off at 5pm.


Cowboys NYC: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Nathan Traill 3. Bacho Salam 19. Trey Kemp 5. Marcus Jensen 6. Ty Carucci 7. Cooper Bambling 8. Darryn Schonig 9. Brandon Smith 10. Ross Bella 11. Coen Hess (c) 12. Hiale Roycroft 13. Jordan Kenworthy. Interchange: 14. Calum Gahan 15. Tahanui Tutavake 16. Nick Brown 17. Kaleb Fuimaono.

Eels NYC: 1. Amanaki Manu 2. Atini Gafa 3. Mason Cerruto 4. Dane Aukafolau 5. Jermaine Mati-Leifi 6. Dean Matterson 7. Troy Dargan 8. Jamie Stowers 9. Denzal Tonise (c) 10. Tom Amone 11. Jack Morris 12. Tyrell Fuimaono 13. Craig Field. Interchange: 14. Matt Price 15. Tom Field 16. Kurt De Luis 17. Tui Oloapu.


During the week, North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC coach Aaron Payne questioned his team’s commitment after a lower-ranked Souths defeated NQ comfortably in front of the Cowboys’ home crowd.

The 34-14 loss was the Cowboys’ second straight and saw the side freefall to eighth on the NYC ladder after  four wins from their opening five matches had them entrenched in the top two.

The Eels will start as favourites and are second on the ladder with 5-2 win-loss record.

The young Cowboys were dominated in the forwards against the Rabbitohs, with missed tackles in the middle third a real concern.

Payne has not rung in wholesale changes, but has not left the side untouched either.

Back-rower Cody Grills has been omitted from the side, with newish recruit Hiale Roycroft to start after impressing off the bench last weekend in his NYC debut.

Kaleb Fuimaono comes on to the bench at the expense of Jack Lote.

The Cowboys will have their hands full with Eels centre Tyrell Fuimaono, who leads the NYC in hit-ups/runs with 111, four ahead of Cowboys workhorse Jordan Kenworthy.

Cowboys winger/centre Nathan Traill is second in the comp for dummy-half runs (36) despite not being a hooker.

Cowboys skipper Coen Hess is second in the comp for turnover tackles (9) and first for penalties conceded (11).

COACH AARON PAYNE: “We really need to approach this game with passion and urgency. Last weekend against Souths was disappointing.”

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.