North Queensland co-captain Johnathan Thurston requires just four points to reach 2,000 points for the Cowboys. He would become only the fourth player (after Hazem El Masri, Andrew Johns and Cameron Smith) to score 2,000 points for a single club. Earlier this season, Thurston passed 2,000 points in the NRL, acknowledging his time at the Bulldogs early in his career. Fingers crossed that he'll celebrate the milestone at home this Saturday night against Wests Tigers.
The Cowboys' Marvel jersey auction is off to a cracking start, helped along by a win over the Rabbitohs and some fantastic promotion from the club's media partners. With proceeds to go towards helping North Queensland communities recover from Cyclone Debbie, the online auction features 17 match-worn Marvel jerseys signed individually by the player who wore it in Friday night's 20-6 victory. Get behind this important cause or share with your networks to help our friends and neighbours in need.
A big shout-out to the good people of Bowen, Mackay and Sarina affected by last week's natural disaster – look out for news soon on the next Cowboys blitz with community partner North Queensland Bulk Ports coming your way with club legends Brent Tate and Matthew Bowen.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk took to Twitter to congratulate the team on Friday night after their win over South Sydney. After a challenging week for the state, the Premier tweeted "Thanks @nthqldcowboys we needed that!".
Matt Scott is creating some positives out of his time on the sideline with a serious knee injury – while the players will miss him on the field this year while he rehabs, his presence in and around the team will be strong. The central Queensland product will be heavily involved in team meetings, game review and planning this season, specifically with the team’s crop of emerging young forwards. Scott's re-signing last week to 2019 will set him up as a 16-season Cowboy, and the co-captain spoke from the heart on Instagram on his decision – we're looking forward to sharing the next three years with this great leader.
A big congratulations to the Cowboys Leagues Club, with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' social home named best club cafe/coffee shop in Queensland at the 2017 Clubs Queensland Awards for Excellence. The Club also a state finalist for a number of awards – well done to their dedicated team, led capably by general Manager Clint Williams.
Two of the busiest men at the club of late are team physio Steve ‘Chicken’ Sartori and rehab trainer Ash Graham. With the NRL squad having a number of medium to long-term injuries, managing the rehab group takes plenty of planning and logistical acumen. Thankfully, the club has two of the best in the business and the injured roster is getting shorter with Lachlan Coote returning from a calf tear on Friday night and back-rower Shane Wright (broken jaw) turning out for the Mackay Cutter v PNG Hunters in the Queensland Cup. The next targets for return – roughly all at the same time – in a few weeks will be half Kyle Laybutt (knee), centre Justin O’Neill (hamstring), utility Ray Thompson (knee) and winger Antonio Winterstein (broken arm). Matt Scott, Shaun Hudson and Josh Chudleigh (ACLs) are all long-term injuries.
Doting dad Johnathan Thurston is outnumbered 4-1 at home with the recent arrival of third daughter Lillie Rose. Wife Samantha's Instagram pic with all three as newborns has them hard to tell apart. JT was all smiles at Cowboys HQ last week, telling staff that Mum and baby are doing well. Congratulations, Thurston family.
Jet-setter Brent Tate took a whirlwind trip to Papua New Guinea last week, thanks to our major partner Trukai Industries. Meeting with staff from PNG’s leading rice products supplier, Tatey also headed out on the field to coach young fans from the rugby league-mad nation as part of a clinic at the National Football Stadium. This also meant that our Cowboys were on board the inaugural Air Niugini direct flight back into Townsville Airport – an exciting progression for our growing supporter base in PNG!
Tuesday's open training session will be a choice school holiday entertainment option for members and fans. The event kicks off at 9am at 1300SMILES Stadium with free entry and member giveaways and competitions. Membership will be on sale and the Ticketek agency will also be open for you to pick up your match tickets for Saturday.
Cowboys Ray Thompson, Josh Chudleigh and Shane Wright took to the regions last week to meet with young North Queensland rugby league fans as part of the Cowboys Adopt-a-School program, supported by Stockland Townsville. Students in the cane growing district of Ayr were given important messages about cane train safety, while our neighbours across the water on Palm Island played a role in an Easter enactment.
Birthday boys this week: Justin O'Neill turns 26 on Tuesday, Lachlan Coote's 27th is on Thursday and Josh Chudleigh celebrates 23 years on Saturday.
The Cowboys will be supporting Men of League at Saturday's home game against Wests Tigers. Men of League provides assistance and support to players, coaches, referees, officials and administrators from all levels of the game, as well as members of their families and the broader rugby league community. They'll be in LGIAsuper Community Hub at 1300SMILES Stadium from 5pm for members and fans to find out more.