The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys host the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday evening.
1. FAREWELL 2021
Saturday’s game marks the 2021 season finale for the Cowboys. North Queensland have been a different team at home this season, winning five of 11 games at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, including a five-game unbeaten streak between Rounds 6 and 15.
2. HESSY’S BACK
One of the standout performers of the season for the Cowboys, Coen Hess will return from a bicep injury for the final game of 2021. Hess missed the victory over the Dragons after picking up a bicep strain a week earlier against Parramatta. The 25-year-old returns to the side in place of Reuben Cotter, who has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.
3. TURNING THE TABLES
North Queensland will be looking to overturn a troublesome run of results against Manly when the two sides clash on Saturday. The Sea Eagles have won the previous three encounters, with the Cowboys’ most recent victory coming in Round 13 of the 2018 season. Manly lead the overall head to head match-up 26-12.
4. YOUNG GUNS
The Cowboys will field six players aged 21 or younger in the season finale. Jeremiah Nanai (18), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (19), Heilum Luki, Tom Dearden, Griffin Neame (all 20) and Ben Condon (21) headline a youth movement unleashed by Todd Payten in 2021. Another five players, Murray Taulagi, Scott Drinkwater, Coen Hess, Mitch Dunn and Reece Robson are aged 25 or younger.
The Cowboys have four players on track to have appear in all 24 possible games for the 2021 season. Scott Drinkwater, Reece Robson, Jordan McLean and Jake Granville have suited up in every game so far for the club this season and have all been named for the Manly showdown.