Building pressure will be the catchcry when the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s 'host' the St George-Illawarra Dragons in week 1 National Youth Competition finals action at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The second-placed Cowboys take on the third-placed Dragons for the right to advance to Week 3 of the finals, with Aaron Payne’s young NQ boys hitting form at the right end of the season.
The team will be searching for a fourth straight win following strong victories in recent weeks over the Warriors (34-0), the Bulldogs (32-14) and the Titans (42-22).
By virtue of their finishing the season higher up the ladder, the Cowboys will technically be the home side on Friday, but will play at the neutral venue as a curtain-raiser to the all-Queensland National Rugby League qualifying final between the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans.
Payne has named an unchanged team from the one that defeated the Titans, with Cooper Bambling to captain the side.
The last time the sides met – in Round 12 – the result was a 30-all draw.
North Queensland Toyota Cowboys NYC v St George Illawarra Dragons NYC
5.15pm, Friday 9 September, Suncorp Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports (Channel 501)
1. Kalyn Ponga
2. Gideon Gela-Mosby
3. Bacho Salam
4. Enari Tuala
5. Marcus Jensen
6. Ty Carucci
7. Cooper Bambling (c)
8. Darryn Schonig
9. Brandon Smith
10. Ross Bella
11. Cody Maughan
12. Hiale Roycroft
13. Tahanui Tutavake
14. Nathan Traill
15. Corey Horsburgh
16. Nicholas Brown
17. Nick Lui Toso
Coach: Aaron Payne