WESTS TIGERS NYC v NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC
1.45pm, Sunday 7 August, Leichhardt Oval
Referee: Todd Smith
Touch judges: Adam Reid, Keiron Irons
Saturday’s Round 22 clash pits Cowboys #2 (13 wins, five losses, one draw) against the Tigers #7 (10 wins, seven losses).
The Tigers are coming off a seven-point loss to the Eels while the young Cowboys were impressive in their 38-14 triumph over the Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Cowboys hooker Brandon Smith continued his rise as an NRL player of the future with a formidable game against the Storm, a performance that included a hat-trick of tries and 10 tackle breaks.
He has 113 darts from dummy half this year, the most in the comp by 17.
Smith and teammate Marcus Jensen equal the comp (alongside three other players) for line breaks, with 19 for the year.
Five-eighth Kalyn Ponga also continues to impress with a try-scoring double, a try assist and 189 running metres last start.
Cowboys: 1 Gideon Gela-Mosby, 2 Michael Carroll, 3 Bacho Salam, 4 Enari Tuala, 5 Marcus Jensen, 6 Kalyn Ponga, 7 Jacob Bourke, 8 Darryn Schonig, 9 Brandon Smith (c), 10 Ross Bella, 11 Emry Pere, 12 Hiale Roycroft, 13 Tahanui Tutavake. Interchange: 14 Duarne Dempsey, 15 Cody Maughan, 16 Kaleb Fuimaono, 17 Nick Lui Toso. Coach: Aaron Payne.
Tigers: 1 Daniel Roberts, 2 Roman Ioelu, 3 Toa Mata'afa, 4 Tony Tali, 5 Obed Karwhin, 6 Veiru Mapesone, 7 Thomas Bartley, 8 Ray Stone, 9 Jacob Liddle, 10 Taniela Paseka, 11 Jakob Giles, 12 Mark McCormack, 13 Jack Wheelhouse (c). Interchange: 14. Daniel Peck, 15 Lenny Sauni, 16 Trent Pye, 17 Rhys Sciglitano, 18 Siaosi Nasilai. Coach: Willie Peters.
COACH AARON PAYNE: “We need to be continually improving as the finals approach”.