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The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys under-20s will be pleased to get some footy back under their belts after a disrupted fortnight that included a postponed match, a monstrous cyclone and the imminent return of a strike weapon.

Unbeaten in 2017 so far, Aaron Payne’s young charges take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at 1300SMILES Stadium this afternoon, arguably short of a run after their Round 4 match on the Gold Coast against the Titans was called off after the Cowboys’ flight south on match eve was cancelled. 

Plans for a solid week of training in lieu of the game were put on hold as Tropical Cyclone Debbie forced Cowboys HQ to shut down for a couple of days at the start of the week.

The team still got in some good prep, but they will need to be on their guard against a strong Bunnies team that Payne is wary of, despite the side having won just one of four matches this season.

“They’re a dangerous side and beat us twice last year, so we need to be ready,” Payne said.

The second-year mentor will take much the same side into the match as was named to play the Titans, with fullback Kalyn Ponga moving back into the team after a fortnight playing NRL.

The game kicks off at 4.50pm at 1300SMILES Stadium.

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.