North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC coach Aaron Payne has made one positional change to his side for today’s Round 16 clash with the Manly Sea Eagles.
Utility Trey Kemp will move off the interchange bench and into the starting centre’s spot, while regular centre Nathan Traill moves on to the bench alongside Corey Horsburgh, Kaleb Fuimaono and Nick Lui Toso.
Jacob Bourke, originally named on an extended bench, drops out of the 17.
The second-placed NQ side are searching for a third straight win and currently sit at outright second place on the ladder.
The game kicks off at 4pm at 1300SMILES Stadium and will be followed by the grand final of the Laurie Spina Shield from 5.40pm.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC v Manly Sea Eagles NYC
4pm, Monday 27 June, 1300SMILES Stadium
Referee: Tom Roby
Touch judges: Zac Schembri, Jarrod Cole
COWBOYS NYC: 1 Michael Carroll, 2 Gideon Gela-Mosby, 3 Bacho Salam, 14 Trey Kemp, 5 Marcus Jensen, 6 Ty Carucci, 7 Cooper Bambling (c), 8 Darryn Schonig, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Ross Bella, 11 Emry Pere, 12 Hiale Roycroft, 13 Tahanui Tutavake. Interchange: 4 Nathan Traill, 15 Corey Horsburgh, 16 Kaleb Fuimaono, 17 Nick Lui Toso. Coach: Aaron Payne.
MANLY NYC: 2 Tevita Funa, 15 Harlon Collins, 3 Brad Parker, 5 Sione Hopoate, 1 Lucas Price, 22 Nicho Hynes, 7 Cade Cust, 8 Amoni Tufui, 20 Treymaine Brown, 14 Eddie Paealiki, 11 Billy Bainbridge (c), 6 Jayden Hocking, 13 Elia Faatui. Interchange: 9 Heath Garay, 12 Eddie Wulf, 10 John Walker, 9 John Tuivati. Coach: Chad Randall.
- Despite being presented with numerous injury challenges, the young Cowboys continue to impress in 2016, their 10-win, three-loss, one-draw record seeing them outright second on the National Youth Competition ladder and primed for another serious tilt at the premiership.
- The team have been unbeaten since round seven and a home defeat at the hands of the Rabbitohs.
- Tonight the team will be shooting for a third-straight win after contrasting wins over the Sharks (35-28) and the Knights (66-16) in their past two encounters, preceded by a 30-all draw against the Dragons.
- The team has the second-best attack in the comp with 476 points scored this season. Its points differential also ranks the side second, at +144, some distance behind competition front-runner Penrith (+392).
- The young Cowboys’ good form, coupled with the fact that their NRL stablemates are also well entrenched in the top four, means the club is running second in the overall club championship, a title won by the club last year.
- Dogged halfback Cooper Bambling will again lead the side with regular skipper Coen Hess again promoted to Intrust Super Cup duties with the Northern Pride.
- Bambling is in the top 10 in the comp for points scored, with seven tries and 24 goals (76 points) thus far. He has also put 106 kicks in play this year, the third highest figure for that statistical category.
- Cowboys winger Marcus Jensen is in a three-way tussle for the NYC’s leading try-scoring title. The rangy flyer has 16 four-pointers this season, to equal the Panthers’ Ratu Tuisese and the Dragons’ Reuben Garrick.
- NQ hooker Brandon Smith leads the dummy-half run count with 77 forays, while teammate and centre Nathan Traill ranks fourth with 54.
- Kiwi junior Smith is also top-five for line break assists with 13.
COACH AARON PAYNE: “Despite the fact they’ve had a tough year to date, this Manly side is a dangerous proposition and we can’t take them lightly.”