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The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Under-20s have put an exclamation mark on their return to the National Youth Competition winner’s circle with a devastating 70-10 defeat of the New Zealand Warriors in Townsville tonight.

Having lost their past two games, Aaron Payne’s young men had every reason to fire tonight against a team sitting at the foot of the NYC ladder with just three wins from 17 games.

And fire they did, piling on 12 tries to two in a completely dominant display across the park, with cool-headed halfback Jake Clifford potting 11 goals from 12 attempts.

The Warriors were well in the game for most of the first half, and trailed just 12-6 after 20 minutes.

But tries to strike centre Enari Tuala and his wing partner Michael Carroll blew the lead out to 22-6 at half time, the break proving the calm before the storm.

The young Cowboys were ruthless in the second half – scoring on close to every set for one 10-minute period – to race in eight second-half tries for their 10th win of the year.

Carroll went on to post a hat-trick, while Tuala was one of four players to score doubles, the others being Ryan Lloyd, Kurt Wiltshire and Cody Maughan.

NORTH QUEENSLAND TOYOTA COWBOYS NYC 70 (Michael Carroll 3, Enari Tuala 2, Kurt Wiltshire 2, Cody Maughan 2, Ryan Lloyd 2, Corey Horsburgh tries; Jake Clifford 11 goals) def NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS NYC 10 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.