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New Cowboy Ben Hampton has praised the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ youth brigade following the team’s NRL Auckland Nines win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

The 19-8 victory – on the back of a Javid Bowen double – propelled the team into top place in the Hunua Pool, setting up a quarter-final showdown with the Melbourne Storm.

The Cowboys played the Rabbitohs minus experienced duo Gavin Cooper and Johnathan Thurston, but Hampton reckons the emerging Cowboys did the club proud with the four-tries-to-two performance.

“I think we controlled things pretty well in the middle and our speedy young outside backs like Jango (Javid Bowen), Kalyn (Ponga) and Gideon (Gela-Mosby) did well once given some space and opportunity,” Hampton said.

“It was a great chance for the squad to get some quality footy together.”

The Cowboys’ finished their pool matches undefeated with their qualifying final against the Storm scheduled for 12.30pm Qld.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.