MELBOURNE STORM NYC v NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC
2pm, Saturday 14 May, Langlands Park
Referee: Jon Stone
Touch judges: Wyatt Raymond, Jack Ebert
Cowboys: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Gideon Gela-Mosby 3. Bacho Salam 4. Nathan Traill 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. Trey Kemp 15. Tahanui Tutavake 16. Nick Brown 17. Kaleb Fuimaono.
Storm: 1. Jesse Arthars 2. Joel Gittins 3. Cory Parker 4. Angelo Leaupepe 5. Nat McGavin 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Brodie Croft 8. Josh Kerr 9. Sam Burns 10. Ben Nakubuwai 11. Jacob Tonge 12. Jaiyden Hunt 13. Ben Halfpenny. Interchange: 14. Louis Geraghty 15. Lachlan Timm 16. Ben Henderson 17. Lachlan Foulds.
- The young Cowboys are in solid form, having won their past two matches to be sitting on third place on the National Youth Competition ladder with six wins from nine matches. The team has a points differential of +61 points, the third best in the comp.
- The young Storm outfit currently sit in 10th place on the ladder with three wins from nine matches, but were last-start winners over the Gold Coast.
- The Cowboys will welcome the return to the club of dynamic forwards Coen Hess (Australia) and Brandon Smith (New Zealand) who spent last week in camp with their respective junior national teams. The Junior Kangaroos prevailed 34-20, but Smith was close to best-on-ground with a barnstorming display including 153 running metres, 21 tackles and three line breaks. That mighty effort followed up from his three-try heroics for his last club game against the Sea Eagles at Brookvale.
- The match at Langlands Park also marks the return of try-scoring specialist, winger Gideon Gela-Mosby. The Torres Strait product injured his groin in round four and has been in rehab for six weeks.
- Mosby’s return has forced a reshuffle, with Nathan Traill moving back from the wing into the centres, fill-in centre Trey Kemp moving to the interchange bench, and backup hooker Calum Gahan moving out of the 17.
COACH AARON PAYNE: “I expect our players to be well-rested and full of energy to perform well in what could be quite sapping conditions.”