NYC preview: Cowboys v Raiders
CANBERRA RAIDERS NYC v NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC
4.30pm, Saturday 9 July, Workers Arena, Goulburn
Referee: Chris Treneman
Touch judges: Martin Jones, Adam Reid
Cowboys: 1 Jesse Pomare-Anderson, 2 Michael Carroll, 3 Bacho Salam, 4 Cody Maughan, 5 Kurt Wiltshire, 6 Ty Carucci, 7 Jacob Bourke, 8 Nick Lui Toso, 9 Brandon Smith (c), 10 Ross Bella, 11 Emry Pere, 12 Hiale Roycroft, 13 Tahanui Tutavake. Interchange: 14 Trey Kemp, 15 Rhein Frank, 16 Corey Horsburgh, 17 Kaleb Fuimaono.
Raiders: 1 Thomas Cronan, 2 Harry Van Dartel, 3 Sebastian Kris, 4 Nick Cotric, 5 Jack Hickson, 6 Zeik Foster, 7 Logan Spaander, 8 Zac Masters, 9 Zac Woolford, 10 William Samuel, 11 Jack Williams, 12 Jack Murchie, 13 Jarred Tuite. Interchange: 14 Bailey Hartwig, 15 Daniel Dole, 16 Emry Guler, 17 Fabien Paletua-Kiri, 18 Sione Afemui.
- The young Cowboys have lost only four games this year, but two of those losses have been to the 15th-placed Rabbitohs, who last weekend turned in a game of the season to down the second-placed Cowboys. The 26-18 result snapped a two-month unbeaten run for Aaron Payne’s young charges.
- Still, the side remains in line for a top-four finish to the regular season, and the young NQ side currently have 25 competition points, five points adrift of National Youth Competition front-runners Penrith and one point clear of Parramatta in third.
- Injury and representative selection have tested the Cowboys under-20s this weekend like never before this season. Four players – Cooper Bambling, Marcus Jensen, Darryn Schonig and Gideon Gela-Mosby – were selected in the Queensland under-20s team to play the Blues in Wednesday night’s curtain-raiser. A fifth player, centre Bacho Salam, was brought into that side late, but his replacement for tomorrow’s NYC match v Canberra has not yet been named.
- Regular captain Coen Hess will also be missing after being called up for NRL duty for the second time this year.
- The young Raiders are currently in 11th place with nine wins from 16 games, and are last-start winners with a 34-24 triumph over the Knights in Round 17.
- Stand-in skipper Brandon Smith will again look to lead from the front, the tough-as-teak hooker leading the competition in dummy-half runs with 89 this year.
COACH AARON PAYNE: “We’re down on troops coming off a bad loss … everyone needs to be accountable this weekend and we need to be better everywhere.”