Coen Hess | Photo: Scott Davis © NRL Photos

NYC team list: Cowboys v Knights

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s coach Aaron Payne has named an unchanged team for his side’s Round 13 match against the Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium this afternoon.

Looking to return to the winner’s circle after last weekend’s draw against the Dragons, the Cowboys will run out 1-17, with Corey Horsburgh dropping off an extended bench and returning to Townsville and Districts Rugby League action.

Payne will be without injured fullback and first-choice goalkicker Kalyn Ponga – who injured his shoulder against the Dragons – but welcome back captain Coen Hess, who played his second NRL game in last weekend’s 14-10 loss to St George Illawarra.

Today’s game kicks off at 3.15pm.

COWBOYS NYC: 1 Gideon Gela-Mosby, 2 Michael Carroll, 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 Emry Pere, 17 Nick Lui Toso.

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

MATCH FACTS

  • The young Cowboys were dealt a blow in their Round 12 draw against the Dragons in Wollongong when fullback Kalyn Ponga left the field with a shoulder injury in the opening exchanges of the match. Ponga is expected to be sidelined for between 4-6 weeks.

  • Fellow flyer Gideon Gela-Mosby has been named to fill in at fullback, with 18-year-old Innisfail product Michael Carroll to make his National Youth Competition debut on the wing.

  • Last week’s draw has the young Cowboys sitting third on the ladder with 17 points, equal with second-placed Wests Tigers but with an inferior points differential (+87 to the Tigers’ +110).

  • The club is coming third in the 2016 club championship – which it won last year – combining NRL and NYC competition points.

  • The seventh-placed NYC Knights have seven wins and a draw from their 12 games to sit on 15 points.

  • While Cowboys halfback Cooper Bambling narrowly missed a sideline conversion to win the match after the full-time siren, Knights five-eighth Jake McNamara converted after full-time to snatch a 26-24 win for his team against the Parramatta Eels.

  • Hardworking Cowboys lock Jordan Kenworthy continued his stellar season last weekend with a team-leading 170 running metres to go with 37 tackles, three tackle busts and two offloads. Kenworthy is equal third in the NYC for total runs (182).

  • Knights sharp-shooter Brock Lamb is the runaway goalkicking leader in the comp with 28 conversions from 32 attempts for an 88% strike rate.

  • Captain Coen Hess returns to NYC duty this round after playing his second NRL game last weekend, the second-rower coming off the bench in a 14-10 loss to the Dragons. Hess leads the way on most penalties conceded, with 15.

  • Cowboys hooker Brandon Smith is equal second in try assists with 13. 

  • Cowboys winger Marcus Jensen is the equal third-highest try-scorer with 11.

COACH AARON PAYNE: “We jagged a point last week, but it was a disappointing effort all around.”