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2013 Round 26 (H) vWests Tigers

Granty

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Frontrow-start-for-Bolton-in-round-26/83566

Front-row start for Bolton in round 26

Tuesday 3 September 2013



Scott Bolton will start in the front-row for the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys for only the second time this season as co-captain Matthew Scott’s replacement for the round 26 NRL match against Wests Tigers at 1300SMILES Stadium.

A broken middle finger on his left hand will keep the Test and State of Origin prop out of the final home and away clash which the Cowboys, who are chasing a sixth straight victory, will probably need to win to qualify for the top eight.

Bolton last started at prop in round 12 against the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park when Scott and James Tamou were on Origin duties.

He shone when he came on as the co-captain’s replacement at the 10-minute mark on Sunday, gaining 149 metres in 16 hit-ups.

With Bolton promoted to start, Ashton Sims returns to the interchange bench for his first game since round 23 when he copped a one-match suspension against the Titans.

A victory on Saturday would equal North Queensland’s second-longest winning streak in club history and also provide a fitting send-off for games record holder Matthew Bowen who will run out in front of his home crowd for the last time.

Young hooker Jayden Hodges will make his home NRL debut.


North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Wests Tigers

Round 26, 2013 Telstra Premiership
7.30pm, Saturday 7 September, 1300SMILES Stadium

1. Matthew Bowen
2. Wayne Ulugia
3. Brent Tate
4. Kane Linnett
5. Antonio Winterstein
6. Johnathan Thurston (c)
7. Robert Lui
8. Scott Bolton
9. Rory Kostjasyn
10. James Tamou
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Glenn Hall
13. Joel Riethmuller

Interchange:

14. Jayden Hodges
15. Tariq Sims
16. Ashton Sims
17. Ricky Thorby

Coach: Neil Henry.

-----

Cowboys TV

Cowboys Team to Play Tigers

03/09/2013

http://www.nrl.com/video/clubvideocowboys/tabid/10954/contentid/581799/videotabid/120/default.aspx
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Community Corner The Cure Starts Now/83591

Community Corner: The Cure Starts Now

Tuesday 3 September 2013



Townsville-based national charity The Cure Starts Now (Australia) will be the special guests in the final 2013 Community Corner, proudly presented by Steggles’ Charity Nest, at the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ home game against Wests Tigers at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.

Cowboys centre Brent Tate is an official ambassador for The Cure Starts Now, which is striving for a "homerun" cure for all cancers through its work and highlights Paediatric Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.

“After seeing just a glimpse of what Australian brain tumour children endure, I’m very happy that the Cowboys are able to help promote this very special organisation,” Tate said.

CSN Director Ren Pedersen said the support from Steggles and the Cowboys added much-needed recognition for the charity.

“Our brain tumour kids need help now,” Mr Pedersen said.

“The Cowboys are constantly approached to lend their support to myriad things so we're honoured to have this great club give us their tick of approval.”

The Cure Starts Now is currently gathering funds for the second stage of a world-leading partnership with one of the country’s most respected cancer centres, the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia and the international DIPG Collaborative.

An information display will be set up in Community Corner and Cowboys members and supporters who “like” The Cure Starts Now on Facebook before 10 September go into the draw to win a Cowboys jersey and football.

The Community Corner space at each of North Queensland’s NRL home matches reflects the Cowboys’ and Steggles’ commitment to assisting charitable organisations to build awareness and support from within the local community.

Each of the selected not-for-profit organisations have a charter to contribute to and benefit the North Queensland community and operate through the contribution of volunteers, fundraising efforts and some government assistance.

For more information, go to www.thecurestartsnow.org.
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Forward pack will cover for Scott - Henry/83592

Forward pack will cover for Scott - Henry

Photo: Grant Trouville - nrlphotos.com
Tuesday 3 September 2013



North Queensland coach Neil Henry says there’s only a “very low” chance that co-captain Matthew Scott would be available for the Cowboys’ first finals match should they progress in the Telstra Premiership by beating Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

The Test and State of Origin prop returned home today after undergoing surgery on Monday night in Sydney on the middle finger of his left hand which was broken early on in Sunday’s win against Cronulla.

Scott will definitely not play in the home and away season finale at 1300SMILES Stadium this weekend with Scott Bolton named today to take his starting role.

“The operation went as expected,” Henry said today.

“He’s had a plate put in his finger to stabilise what is a nasty fracture, low down.

“The prognosis at the moment is three weeks will be the minimum time out.

“He’s no chance this week and I think he’d be a very low chance for the first week of the finals should we get that far.

“Hopefully we’ll still be in there with a chance.”

Henry said he was confident the remainder of the forward pack would step up in Scott’s absence, as they did when he left the field against Cronulla after just 10 minutes.

James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Joel Riethmuller and Scott Bolton all picked up more than 140 metres in attack with back-rowers Cooper (159m) and Riethmuller (167m) reaching season highs.

Bolton will start at prop for only the second time, with his high work rate and ability to offload helping him gain the selection nod.

“I thought Scott Bolton was very good. He had a great work rate and had plenty of metres in him,” the coach said.

“He worked very hard defensively as well.

“Ashton Sims has been doing extra training because he hasn’t been playing footy and he’s a very experienced player so he’ll come into the squad.

“We have Ricky Thorby there as well.”

-----

Cowboys TV

Media Conference Team Selection

03/09/2013

http://www.nrl.com/video/clubvideocowboys/tabid/10954/contentid/581887/videotabid/120/default.aspx
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Club hoping for double celebration ahead/83637

Club hoping for double celebration ahead

Tuesday 3 September 2013



The stage is set for an emotional night at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday when 13-season veteran Matt Bowen plays his 131st and last NRL match on his home ground.

North Queensland coach Neil Henry is hoping it will be a night of joy for Cowboys members and fans as the club looks to seal a finals berth and say farewell to arguably the club’s favourite player of all time.

“It's a massive game as far as the club is concerned but I am sure Matthew's focus is on the team result rather than his individual night," Henry said.

“It is a celebration ... of a one-team man who is synonymous with North Queensland.

"He's a small man in a big man's game – there's a lot of courage and bravery there in that position but also to come back from the setbacks of the double operation to his knee.

“He has proved that through hard work in conjunction with our medical team he could come back and play good footy.”

The Cowboys can pull off what seemed an improbable top eight finish with a victory or if both the Gold Coast Titans and Warriors lose their final-round matches.

While Henry said the night would toast Bowen, who is yet to decide whether he will play one more year in England, they hoped to also be celebrating a finals berth with their sixth straight win.

“It (Bowen's milestone) can be an added incentive,” Henry said.

“And we are a bit emotional at the moment in the way that we have had to win games (to stay alive in the finals race).

“But you need focus and not think too far ahead.”

Henry knows the Wests Tigers want to send Benji Marshall out as a winner after 10 years in the black and gold, especially after seeing the Tigers jump to a big lead against ladder leaders South Sydney last round only to lose.

“It's a dangerous game for us," Henry said.

“They showed what they could do last week.

“And there's no next week for them. I am sure their young squad will be out to back up Benji in his last game in Tigers colours.”
 

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http://www.nrl.com/emotional-night-looms-for-cowboys/tabid/10874/newsid/74421/default.aspx

Emotional night looms for Cowboys

By Laine Clark
AAP
Tue 03rd September


Matt Bowen celebrates a try against the Sharks

The stage is set for an emotional night in Townsville on Saturday with 13-season veteran Matt Bowen playing his final home game in North Queensland colours and rugby convert Benji Marshall ending his sometimes tumultuous time at Wests Tigers.

One way or another it's a game that looks set to end in tears - but Cowboys coach Neil Henry is hoping they will be of joy for Cowboys fans as North Queensland look to seal an unlikely finals berth.

"It's a massive game as far as the club is concerned but I am sure Matthew's focus is on the team result rather than his individual night," Henry said.

"It is a celebration ... of a one team man who is synonymous with north Queensland.

"He's a small man in a big man's game. There's a lot of courage and bravery there in that position but also to come back from the setbacks of the double operation to his knee.

"He has proved that through hard work in conjunction with our medical team he could come back and play good footy."

The Cowboys can pull off what seemed an improbable top eight finish with victory - a result that will no doubt prompt blushes from board members who decided Henry's services would not be required at season's end just five weeks ago.

While Henry said the night would toast Bowen, who is yet to decide whether he will play one more year in England, they hoped to also be popping champagne over a finals berth with their sixth straight win.

"It (Bowen's milestone) can be an added incentive," Henry said of the 31 year-old who last week was told by North Queensland his contract would not be renewed.

"And we are a bit emotional at the moment in the way that we have had to win games (to stay alive in the finals race).

"But you need focus and not think too far ahead."

Henry knows the Wests Tigers want to send out Marshall a winner after 10 years in the black and gold - especially after seeing the Tigers jump to a big lead against ladder leaders South Sydney last round only to lose.

"It's a dangerous game for us," Henry said.

"They showed what they could do last week.

"And there's no next week for them. I am sure their young squad will be out to back up Benji in his last game in Tigers colours."
 

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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2013/09/03/388411_sport.html

Chilled Bowen stars

MICHAEL THOMPSON | September 3rd, 2013

RETIRING North Queensland Cowboys legend Matt Bowen believes his body will be able to handle the chill of northern England next year.

Ahead of his final game at 1300SMILES Stadium this Saturday night against West Tigers, Bowen told the Townsville Bulletin that the wishes of his young family will decide if he plays for British Super League club Wigan in 2014 - not the state of his 31-year-old body.

The Cowboys announced last week that Bowen would end his playing days in North Queensland's No.1 jersey at season's end, with off-contract Penrith fullback Lachlan Coote yesterday signed as Bowen's replacement. Bowen turned the clock back to his vintage playing days during Sunday's 31-18 defeat of Cronulla and played a key role in maintaining North Queensland's surge towards a National Rugby League (NRL) finals appearance.

With scores locked 12-12 at halftime Bowen rose to produce a stellar individual performance to score one try and set up three others, leaving some commentators wondering if the Cowboys and Bowen should be rethinking his retirement call.

But the Hope Vale product gave his strongest indication yet that his playing days may yet continue.

"I just have to see what the family says, but at the end of the day, it's my decision," Bowen said, who has been offered an off-field role with the Cowboys and NRL next year.

"I'm sure they'll support me either way ... I'll make a decision this week.

"There's an opportunity here but I'm thinking long and hard about it."

Bowen has had two knee cartilage replacements and is on a modified training program, which includes the use of a "zero gravity" treadmill to ease the friction on his legs while running.

There are concerns Bowen's body might not handle another season of top-tier football - let alone the English weather - but he thinks otherwise.

"I think I can mate," Bowen said. "I was over there (in England) for the Kangaroos tour in 2004, and I didn't mind it actually.

"I always wanted to go over there and play. It would be a big change, but we'll see what happens in the next couple of days and I'm sure I'll make the right decision."

Bowen and his Cowboys' teammates took a huge step towards the NRL finals following Sunday's 31-18 round 25 win at Sydney's Remondis Stadium, which leaves North Queensland needing just one more win to achieve what many thought was once impossible.

Bowen, however, is aware the Tigers hold a 9-2 win-loss record over the Cowboys in their last 11 encounters.

"If we win there'll be a good celebration, but in saying that we've got a big job ahead (of us) and it starts tomorrow on the training paddock," he said.

"We just have to take it day by day and not get carried away with it."
 

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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2013/09/03/388375_sport.html

Cowboys hope Scott is finger-healing good

ANTONY STEWART | September 3rd, 2013


BUSTED FINGER: Cowboys co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott
stand over Cronulla's John Morris at Remondis Stadium
Photo: GETTY IMAGES


THE Cowboys are holding out hope that the season of their courageous co-captain, Matt Scott, is not over.

Prop forward Scott suffered an ugly break to the middle finger on his left hand during his first hit-up in Sunday afternoon's 31-18 National Rugby League (NRL) round 25 win over the Cronulla Sharks and had surgery at hospital in Sydney last night.

The finger was pinned, which should aid in a quicker recovery, with six-to-eight weeks being initially reported.

However, Cowboys management said yesterday it was pointless speculating on how long the game's No.1 prop would be sidelined, as they held hope that he could play in the finals should North Queensland qualify.

But what is certain, Scott will not play in Saturday's must-win clash against the Wests Tigers at 1300SMILES Stadium. "It will come down to the recommendations of the surgeon and the medical staff," Cowboys high performance manager Paul Bowman said.

"It will be screwed and pinned and ultimately that will make it stronger than if you got a crack that's not displaced, which treated conservatively would take six-to-eight weeks to heal. So the up side is if it's pinned and fixed, it's pretty strong."

Scott is set to return to Townsville today. Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said there would be three aspects that would decide if Scott could play again this season.

The first would be the potential for reinjuring the finger, then the potential for long-term damage and thirdly how much pain he could play through. However Parr doubted the third would be an issue after Scott played on for five minutes after the injury.

The injury occurred when Scott tried to palm off a Sharks defender in the second tackle of the game at Sydney's Remondis Stadium. While he lashed out at John Morris in a tackle soon before leaving the field for treatment, it did not occur in that exchange.
 

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http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2013/09/03/388369_sport.html

Coote looms as No.1 substitute for Bowen

ANTONY STEWART | September 3rd, 2013


Lachlan Coote

THE Cowboys are confident Lachlan Coote will quickly emerge from Matt Bowen's shadow and make his own mark at the club.

Just three days after North Queensland's legendary fullback announced his National Rugby League retirement, Coote was officially unveiled as his successor after the rising star was released from the final season of his contract by Penrith.

The gifted No. 1 has agreed to join North Queensland on a three-year deal from 2014. While Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said last week that whoever replaced Bowen would feel like they were "following Bradman", he was confident Coote had the skill set to not only face that pressure but to thrive under it.

"There's only ever going to be one Matthew Bowen, but Lachlan Coote has already stamped himself as a high-quality NRL player," Parr said yesterday.

"He's got a couple of things on his side and one of them is he's young ... but he also has plenty of experience.

"He just needs to come here and continue what he's been doing since he entered the NRL and I have no doubt ... he can come in and ... put his own stamp on the place."

Coote, a 23-year-old Panthers junior, has played 83 NRL games and scored 43 tries since making his first-grade debut in 2008, while he has represented NSW City Origin and been a member of the Australia train-on squad in the past. The deal was finalised while Parr was in Sydney yesterday following the Cowboys' win over Cronulla.

He will be replacing favourite son Bowen, North Queensland's all-time leading try-scorer and record holder for games played.

Parr said he was excited by the fact that he believed Coote had not even come close to reaching his potential yet.

"He's got an incredibly good (try scoring) strike rate, he's played representative football ... and he's got a lot of football left in him, so to be able to attract a player of that calibre we're very, very happy with," he said.

Coote said in a statement released by the Panthers last night: "I'm really grateful for the opportunities Penrith has given me.

"It's been a great club to be a part of, I have made some great mates and the support from fans has been amazing. I'm looking forward to my next challenge with the Cowboys and I'm excited to see what they have planned for me."

Penrith were forced to consider releasing Coote as they struggled under salary cap pressures and after the emergence of Matt Moylan.

Although Coote will be the front-runner for the custodian role come 2014, Parr said the No. 1 jersey was far from in the bag.

Parr said he expected North Queensland's talented young brigade, including junior products Zac Santo, Wayne Ulugia and Kyle Feldt, to push the new recruit for his place in the top team.

"I would suggest that next year there wouldn't be any guarantees for anybody in that fullback or outside backs position," he said.
 

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/matt-bowen-did-it-all-in-rugby-league-except-talk-about-it/story-fniabn55-1226709566292

Matt Bowen did it all in rugby league, except talk about it

Mike Colman
The Sunday Mail (Qld)
September 03, 2013


MAN of few words . . . Matt Bowen. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

IT WAS 10 years ago when I first met Matthew Bowen.

I knocked on a door at the Brisbane Sheraton Hotel and it was opened by a grinning, excited, wide-eyed footballer who was so blown away by being called into the Queensland Origin side that he just couldn't stop talking about it.

That wasn't Matt Bowen. It was Scott Sattler.

Matt Bowen was the small, quiet kid sitting on his bed, not saying boo.

That's the memory I'll always have of that day. The rest of the side was yet to arrive, but the two newcomers were told to check in early and get measured for their team uniforms.

For Sattler, it was the realisation of a dream that started when his father John, the South Sydney legend, took him to Origin games at Lang Park as a schoolboy. A dream he thought had passed him by at the age of 31.

I can honestly say I've never seen an athlete happier to be picked in a team.

And Bowen? I'm not sure how he felt because he was so tongue-tied he could hardly speak.

In my story the next day, I noted Bowen was so quiet that "to talk to him is almost an exercise in lip-reading".

It would be cliche to say that "Mango" did his talking on the field. Cliche, but true.

In 40 years of covering sport I can't remember any footballer who spoke less and said more.

Every time he played a game his body language said how much he loved the game of rugby league. Every run he made shouted out "This is fun".

Every tackle was a lecture that started and finished with the words "this is how it's done".

And every time he featured on a television screen in an Indigenous community around the country he held up a sign emblazoned with the words "You can do anything if you want it bad enough".

Matt Bowen knew he wanted it at an early age. His father Richard had a property out Hope Vale way. His mother Lillian raised six kids and then went out and qualified as a teacher.

Every one of the Bowen kids stayed at school, worked hard and got a job. They never gave their parents a day's worry. Matt's four older brothers were all good footy players, but he was the one. At 12 he followed his brothers to Abergowrie College, a small boarding school in the middle of a cane field 40km west of Ingham.

At 14 he played in shoes for the first time. A year later he was in the school 1st XV.

In Year 12 he was five-eighth and star player and little Abergowie had the top football team in Queensland.

The Cowboys signed him at 15. When he arrived at the age of 18 they were worried that the big-smoke of Townsville might be too much for him, to say nothing of grade footballers.

They started him off at local club Souths. He was selected to play Foley Shield first year out of school and scored five tries from fullback in his first game.

He could do anything. His Origin teammates would marvel at what how gifted he was with a pool cue or ping pong bat.

Any game, any competition they played in camp, Mango would win.

He didn't drink or smoke, didn't play up or get into trouble. He just played footy and had fun doing it. As long as it was warm.

It seemed there was only one thing Matt Bowen didn't like, and that was the cold. Word is he spent the Australian tour of Britain in 2004 huddled under a pile of blankets.

Maybe that's why he always seemed to be moving on the footie field. He was just trying to keep warm. He'd bob up anywhere.

There was that intercept to win Origin 1 in 2005, the last second try from lock that sunk the Broncos in 2012. His YouTube highlights package shows him felling a rampaging Willie Mason in Origin and running down Billy Slater in a club game.

His pace off the mark was such that TV commentator Andrew Voss once exclaimed "Bowen's been shot out of a cannon".

He was the kind of player that makes people go the footy; the type that makes us enjoy the game as much as he did.

A week ago Wests-Tigers fans bemoaning the end of Benji Marshall's career saw the future in 18 year-old Luke Brooks, proving once again that no matter how good a player is, he can always be replaced.

But maybe not in the case of Matt Bowen. When he leaves the game next week, I'd argue that we'll never see anything quite like him again.

A little bloke from Hope Vale who made a huge statement without ever having to shoot his mouth off.
 

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http://www.nrl.com.au/cowboys-v-wests-tigers-preview/tabid/10874/newsid/74439/default.aspx

Cowboys v Wests Tigers preview

By Nicholas Janzen
NRL.com
11:30am Wed 04th September, 2013

Cowboys v Tigers
1300SMILES Stadium
Saturday 7.30pm

For North Queensland this is the most important game of their season to date. If the Cowboys win they’re through to the semi-finals – if they lose they’re more than likely about to embark on an off-season holiday.

It’s been a year of peaks and troughs for North Queensland in 2013. Throughout the year they enjoyed winning runs mixed almost evenly with losing streaks – it just so happens they’ve been able to find their finest form when it has mattered most. The Cowboys enter this crucial game with the Tigers on a five-match winning streak – and with victories against the Rabbitohs, Panthers, Titans, Knights and Sharks in recent weeks. If they win here, they’ll most likely finish in eighth position (assuming the Knights account for the Eels), with 12 wins and 12 losses through the regular season.

The Wests Tigers, meanwhile, have suffered what some might call an annus horribilis. It’s been a horror campaign under new coach Mick Potter. They’re currently in 14th position with just seven wins from 23 matches – and the poor on-field form is just the beginning. This season has seen boardroom tension reach record levels, and arguably their greatest player of all time, Benji Marshall, has decided to walk away. This is his final match in the orange, black and white – and it’s a game that is about pride and pride alone for his Tigers. The team has lost seven of their past eight matches – and most are expecting that poor form to continue against the Cowboys in tropical Townsville.

For the Cowboys, Scott Bolton will start in the front row for only the second time this season as co-captain Matthew Scott’s replacement. Scott has a broken middle finger. Following Bolton’s promotion, Ashton Sims returns to the interchange bench.

A victory for the Cowboys will equal their second-longest winning streak in club history and also provide a fitting send-off for games record holder Matthew Bowen, who will run out in front of his home crowd for the last time.

For the Tigers there is only a minor change to the side that lost to the Rabbitohs last week, with Sauaso Sue named in jersey No.17 and Matt Bell named in No.19.

Watch Out Cowboys: The Tigers were far from ordinary in the first half against the Rabbitohs last week. At 18-0 after just 15 minutes it looked like the boilover of the season was about to take place. Alas, the Rabbitohs came bounding back, eventually claiming the match 32-18, but the signs are there that the Tigers still possess attacking ability. James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma and Benji Marshall (with a combined total of two try assists, 18 tackle-breaks, two line-breaks, a line-break assist and a try last week) need to be watched closely.

Watch Out Tigers: In 2013 the Wests Tigers have made just 310 ‘good chases’ from kicks – the second-worst record in the league behind the lowly Parramatta Eels. Not only is it a sign of a lack of intensity and effort, it’s an open door for the North Queensland back three of Bowen, Ulugia and Winterstein, alongside centres Tate and Linnett, to launch attacking raids. If the Tigers’ defence doesn’t support the kicking games of Anasta, Marshall and Farah, it’ll quickly turn into too tough a task for Mick Potter’s men in Townsville.

Plays To Watch: Expect the Cowboys to be ‘all systems go’ in attack in this one. North Queensland have used 999 decoy runs so far this season (the most in the NRL) and as such each runner gives the likes of Thurston and Bowen plenty of creative options. The secret to their recent success, however, rests with their forwards – the team runs for the second-most average number of metres per game with 1418.8, and a lot of that comes down to the dominance of their big boppers.

The Tigers, meanwhile, will look to throw the football around, as they did at times successfully against South Sydney last Friday night. Departing superstar Benji Marshall will be looking to go out with a bang, too – surely he’ll throw up one final footballing feast. A few flick passes, a show-and-go or two, and at least one shake-and-bake please, sir!

Key Match-Up: The battle of retirees – Bowen and Marshall. With both about to walk off the world’s toughest rugby league stage, each will be desperate to impress and bring the crowd to their feet one last time. But who will do it more consistently and with a greater level of success?

The diminutive crowd-pullers showed they’ve still got their full bag of tricks last match, with Bowen particularly instrumental in his team’s win against Cronulla. Interestingly, Bowen is poised to become only the second player in NRL history to record 1,000 career tackle-breaks – he requires just nine more. Marshall, meanwhile, has his place in the record books as a title-winning playmaker – and he’s scored the seventh-most tries by any Balmain, Western Suburbs and/or Tigers player, with 76.

Where It Will Be Won: The Tigers’ forwards. They need to stop the Cowboys’ big guns. Sure, their jobs will be made easier with the sidelining of Kangaroos prop Matt Scott, but they still need to deal with the likes of James Tamou, Gavin Cooper and Tariq Sims – and they need to make inroads for themselves.

The Tigers pack is arguably the least effective in the competition, too – their team runs for just 1227 metres per match (last in the NRL). But if they aim up, Marshall and co. are a chance of causing an upset.

The History: Played 27; Tigers 15, Cowboys 12. The Tigers have won nine of their past 11 games against the Cowboys, too. Perhaps their most memorable match-up occurred in the 2005 grand final, when the Tigers finished 30-18 winners. Could Marshall, with that image in his mind, conjure one last magic trick here – and put the Cowboys to the sword and end their title dreams once again?

Match Officials: Referees – Gerard Sutton & Gavin Reynolds; Sideline Officials – Grant Atkins & Jeff Younis; Video Referees – Bernard Sutton & Neil Wharton.

NRL Live 2013 App: Gives you access to every NRL game this season on your iPhone or Android smartphone as it’s being broadcast on TV, with up to six live games each week including the Cowboys v Wests Tigers clash. Plus latest live scores, breaking news, comprehensive match highlights and full match replays.

Televised: Fox Sports 1 – Live 7.30pm.

The Way We See It: We’re not completely willing to rule out the Tigers here. The magic man in their No.6 jersey might just want one last highlight-package performance – and one final victory in Tigers colours. Still, we reckon the Cowboys – desperate to secure victory and qualify for the finals – should be too good. North Queensland by 12 points.

* Statistics: NRL Stats.
 

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/scott-bolton-to-replace-matt-scott-in-cowboys-front-row/story-fnia3gmj-1226709785159

Scott Bolton to replace Matt Scott in Cowboys front row

Barry Dick
The Courier-Mail
September 03, 2013

SCOTT Bolton will start in the front row for the Cowboys for only the second time this season in the must-win round 26 clash with the Wests Tigers in Townsville on Saturday

Bolton replaces co-captain Matthew Scott who has a broken finger.

The Cowboys are chasing a sixth straight victory and need to win to qualify for the top eight.

Bolton last started at prop in round 12 against the Gold Coast Titans at Skilled Park when Scott and James Tamou were on Origin duties.

With Bolton promoted to start, Ashton Sims returns to the interchange bench for his first game since round 23 when he copped a one-match suspension against the Titans.

Matt Bowen will run out in front of his home crowd for the last time.

COWBOYS: 1 Matthew Bowen, 2 Wayne Ulugia, 3 Brent Tate, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Johnathan Thurston , 7 Robert Lui, 8 Scott Bolton, 9 Rory Kostjasyn, 10 James Tamou, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Glenn Hall, 13 Joel Riethmuller. Interchange: 14 Jayden Hodges, 15 Tariq Sims, 16 Ashton Sims, 17 Ricky Thorby.
 

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http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/nrl/emotional-night-looms-in-north-queensland-for-matt-bowen-and-benji-marshall-farewells/story-fniabn55-1226709961381

Emotional night looms in North Queensland for Matt Bowen and Benji Marshall farewells

Laine Clarke
AAP
September 03, 2013

THE stage is set for an emotional night in Townsville on Saturday with 13-season veteran Matt Bowen playing his final home game in North Queensland colours and rugby convert Benji Marshall ending his sometimes tumultuous time at Wests Tigers.

One way or another it's a game that looks set to end in tears - but Cowboys coach Neil Henry is hoping they will be of joy for Cowboys fans as North Queensland look to seal an unlikely finals berth.

"It's a massive game as far as the club is concerned but I am sure Matthew's focus is on the team result rather than his individual night,'' Henry said.

"It is a celebration ... of a one-team man who is synonymous with north Queensland.

"He's a small man in a big man's game. There's a lot of courage and bravery there in that position but also to come back from the setbacks of the double operation to his knee.

"He has proved that through hard work in conjunction with our medical team he could come back and play good footy.''

The Cowboys can pull off what seemed an improbable top eight finish with victory - a result that will no doubt prompt blushes from board members who decided Henry's services would not be required at season's end just five weeks ago.

While Henry said the night would toast Bowen, who is yet to decide whether he will play one more year in England, they hoped to also be popping champagne over a finals berth with their sixth straight win.

"It (Bowen's milestone) can be an added incentive,'' Henry said of the 31-year-old, who last week was told by North Queensland his contract would not be renewed.

"And we are a bit emotional at the moment in the way that we have had to win games (to stay alive in the finals race).

"But you need to focus and not think too far ahead.''

Henry knows the Wests Tigers want to send out Marshall a winner after 10 years in the black and gold - especially after seeing the Tigers jump to a big lead against ladder leaders South Sydney last round only to lose.

"It's a dangerous game for us,'' Henry said.

"They showed what they could do last week.

"And there's no next week for them. I am sure their young squad will be out to back up Benji in his last game in Tigers colours.''
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Cowboys-v-Wests-Tigers-preview/83657

Cowboys v Wests Tigers preview!

Photo: Colin Whelan | nrlphotos.com
Wednesday 4 September 2013



THE SHERIFF'S MATCH PREVIEW: Cowboys v Wests Tigers
Round 26, 2013 Telstra Premiership​

TEAMS

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys: 1. Matthew Bowen 2. Wayne Ulugia 3. Brent Tate 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Johnathan Thurston (c) 7. Robert Lui 8. Scott Bolton 9. Rory Kostjasyn 10. James Tamou 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Glenn Hall 13. Joel Riethmuller. Interchange: 14. Jayden Hodges 15. Tariq Sims 16. Ashton Sims 17. Ricky Thorby.

Wests Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Bodene Thompson 4. Tim Simona 5. Lote Tuqiri 6. Benji Marshall 7. Braith Anasta 8. Keith Galloway 9. Robbie Farah 10. Adam Blair 11. Liam Fulton 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila. Interchange: 14. Ava Seumanufagai 15. Jack Buchanan 16. Shaun Spence 17. Sausao Sue 18. Matt Bell.

HEAD-TO-HEADS
• Played: 27 – Cowboys 12, Tigers 15
• Head-to-head at 1300SMILES Stadium: Cowboys 9, Tigers 4
• Last game: Tigers 22 d Cowboys 20 at Leichhardt Oval (Rd 11, 2013)
• Biggest head-to-head wins: Cowboys 42 d Tigers 12 (1300SMILES Stadium, 2009); Tigers 54 d Cowboys 10 (Leichhardt Oval, 2007)

MATCH DETAILS
Date: 7.30pm, Saturday 7 September 2013
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium
Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1, 4TOFM
Updates: Twitter @nthqldcowboys #FarewellMatty #ridemcowboys
Referees: Gerard Sutton, Gavin Reynolds
Touch judges: Grant Atkins, Jeff Younis
Video referees: Bernard Sutton, Neil Wharton
NYC kick off: 5.15pm

THE SHERIFF’S SYNOPSIS

This is the Cowboys’ biggest home game since our finals clash with Brisbane just over 12 months ago.

Riding a five-game winning streak which has stunned the NRL world, we can make the finals for a club record third-straight year by beating the Tigers and we all get the chance to say farewell to one of our greatest players, Matthew Bowen.

There’ll be bus-loads of Mango supporters coming down from his home town of Hope Vale plus some special on-field tributes to NQ’s games record holder.

His final lap of honour should be very special.

It’s one of those nights where, in the future, you’ll be proud to say “I was there”.

Throughout the year we’ve enjoyed some good times, like this Saturday night should be, mixed almost evenly with losing streaks.

It just so happens we’ve been able to find our finest form when it has mattered most and seen off the Rabbitohs, Panthers, Titans, Knights and Sharks in recent weeks.

That’s three teams currently in the top eight (Souths, Newcastle, Cronulla), one in the eight (Gold Coast) when we played them and one whose finals hopes only disappeared last week (Penrith).

If the Cowboys win here, they’ll most likely finish in eighth position (assuming the Knights account for the last-placed Eels), with 12 wins and 12 losses through the regular season – a huge turnaround from the 6-12 record we were on after Rivalry Round.

Scott Bolton will start in the front row for only the second time this season as co-captain Matthew Scott’s replacement while Ashton Sims returns to the interchange bench.

Meanwhile, it’s been a horror campaign for the Tigers under new coach Mick Potter.

They’re currently in 14th position with just seven wins from 23 matches and arguably their greatest player of all time, Benji Marshall, has decided to walk away.

This is his final match in the orange, black and white, and it’s a game that is about pride and pride alone for him and his Tigers.

You can bet Benji will be looking to go out with a bang so keep your eye out for the flick passes and show-and-go.

The Tigers have lost seven of their past eight matches and most are expecting that poor form to continue on Saturday night, even though Wests have won eight of their last 10 against North Queensland.

The Cowboys are wary of the Sydney club coming here with a carefree attitude and they’re capable of rattling on some points as South Sydney found out last Friday night when they fell 18-0 behind.

A quick start from North Queensland will be essential and if we get points on the board early, the Tigers’ determination to fight back, like they did late at Leichhardt Oval in round 11, may not be there.

The visitors have only a minor change to the side that lost to the Rabbitohs last week, with Sauaso Sue named in jersey No.17 and Matt Bell named in No.18.
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Key-matchup-Thurston-v-Marshall/83640

Key match-up: Thurston v Marshall

Photo: Colin Whelan | nrlphotos.com
Wednesday 4 September 2013



Unless Benji Marshall has a change of mind about playing rugby, this will be the last time these two champion halves go up against each other.

That alone means Saturday night’s match at 1300SMILES Stadium will be one to watch.

They’re both household names – say the words “JT versus Benji” and you don’t need any further explanation about who’s involved.

Marshall, who is heading to Super Rugby with Auckland, and our co-captain have had some great tussles over the years, dating back as far as the 2005 grand final when the Tigers' attacking spark helped his club to a maiden premiership success, denying the Cowboys their first title.

In club footy, it has been Marshall who has been on the winning team most often, although JT has enjoyed more success in the Test arena.

This season hasn’t been one for Marshall to remember too fondly, including being controversially benched by coach Mick Potter midway through the year.

He showed some signs of the Benji of old against the Rabbitohs last Friday night and will want to say farewell to the Tigers after 202 matches with an upset win.

He’s run for more than 100 metres in his last two appearances, well above his season average of 45.2m per game.

JT has been brilliant during the Cowboys’ five-game winning streak, amassing nine try assists and seven linebreak assists, and his goal kicking has been back to its normal very high standard.

His motivation is simple – get his team a win to play in the finals for a record third straight year.

He’ll also want to make sure his great mate Matty Bowen leaves his home ground for the last time a winner.

http://www.cowboysstampede.com.au/attachment.php?attachmentid=207&d=1378393865

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Game-day-comp--giveaways--Saturday/83685

Game day comp & giveaways - Saturday!

Wednesday 4 September 2013



Drop in at the Cowboys information tent (northern gate) at the game this Saturday night – there's lots happening!

GAME DAY COMP*
Prize: A fantastic $200 gift card, thanks to our match day sponsor, Ribs and Rumps
Entry times: 5pm (gates open) and 7.30pm (NRL kick off)
Entry forms: Information tent and membership marquee (under Western grandstand)
Draw: Winner will be drawn randomly on Monday 9 September and notified by phone that day

MATTY BOWEN MASKS
Pick up your FREE Matty Bowen mask from the information tent from 5pm-7.30pm, thanks to Toyota! You can also get one from the membership marquee or from the Team Shop merchandise stands around the grounds.

COWBOYS HOME GAME FACEBOOK PAGE
Be social! Check in to the Cowboys Home Game Facebook page at the information tent between 5pm and 7.30pm to receive your free Cowboys goodie.

*Terms & conditions: The Promoter is Cowboys Rugby League Football Limited, Golf Links Drive, Kirwan Qld 4817. ABN: 28 060 382 961. All patrons (excluding CRFLC and venue staff/sub-contractors) attending the round 26 Cowboys v Wests Tigers match at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday 7 September 2013 are eligible to enter. Complete the entry form available at the information tent inside the northern gate or membership marquee and place your completed entry form in the box provided between 5pm-7.30pm. Entries received after the closing time will not be accepted. Patrons may only enter the competition once. One winner will be drawn randomly from the entries received at 9am on Monday 9 September 2013 at the Cowboys administration office, Golf Links Drive, Kirwan, notified by phone that day and their name published in the 'Cowboys INSIDER' segment on cowboys.com.au. Prize: 1 x $200 gift card for Ribs and Rumps (conditions of use supplied with the card). Prize will be available for collection from the Cowboys administration office, 1300SMILES Stadium, Golf Links Drive, Kirwan from 12pm on Monday 9 September August 2013 or can be sent by post to the winner on arrangement.
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Cowboys-to-compete-in-Auckland-Nines/83712

Cowboys to compete in Auckland Nines

Wednesday 4 September 2013



The NRL has today launched a pre-season nine-a-side tournament that will provide an exciting new format to showcase the skills of Rugby League’s biggest stars and provide unprecedented opportunities to grow the game in New Zealand.

The inaugural NRL Auckland Nines will take place on 15-16 February 2014 at Eden Park, with all 16 NRL clubs to compete for a prize pool exceeding $2 million.

North Queensland CEO Peter Jourdain said the Toyota Cowboys were excited to be involved in the Nines.

“It’s going to be a great way to launch the 2014 season,” Mr Jourdain said.

“Having all 16 NRL clubs in the one city will definitely be a great promotion for rugby league.

“We’re considering combining our Nines participation with our annual pre-season camp so we can spend a week enjoying what New Zealand has to offer and preparing for the new NRL season.”

The NRL, Auckland Council, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Duco Events today announced an initial five-year partnership.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to grow our game and for our clubs and players to share in a significant new investment in rugby league,” said NRL CEO Dave Smith.

“It is an exciting format that will attract new fans and television audiences and it provides a stage for rising stars to emerge and showcase their skills alongside the biggest names in our game.

“I want to thank Auckland Council, ATEED and tournament promoter Duco Events for their support in the creation of the Nines, which will become a celebrated feature of the NRL’s pre-season for years to come.”

Under the tournament format, the 16 NRL clubs will be divided into four team pools with each team to compete against each opponent from within their pool.

The top two teams from each pool progress to the next stage of the tournament.

Matches will be played over two nine-minute halves (18 minute matches) with the NRL’s Competition Committee to develop specific rules for the Nines tournament.

Today’s announcement in Sydney corresponded with a simultaneous event launch in Auckland with the event set to become New Zealand’s biggest annual sporting festival.

“The NRL Auckland Nines will become a hotly contested pre-season event and a great spectacle for sport fans,” Auckland Mayor Len Brown said at the Eden Park launch.

“This is unprecedented. Never before in the game’s history have all 16 NRL clubs played in one place on one weekend.”

In a sign of their commitment to the event, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s five-year sponsorship of $9 million is one of its largest ever investments from the Major Events Fund since New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2011.
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Garbutt-wins-the-Try-for-5-challenge/83699

Garbutt wins the Try for 5! challenge

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Every student from Garbutt State School in Townsville will be at the Cowboys v Wests Tigers game at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night – not just to cheer on their favourite team but to also celebrate their efforts in improving school attendance.

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys today announced Garbutt as the first winning school in their pilot program, Try for 5!

Initiated by the Cowboys, the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, Education Queensland and BHP Billiton Cannington, Try for 5! is aimed at closing the gaps in foundation learning that results from poor school attendance and truancy in the primary years.

Run as a ten-week challenge within and between the Garbutt, Heatley, Vincent, Rasmussen and Kelso primary schools, Try for 5! focuses on re-engaging students in education and reducing truancy and non-explained absences through a combination of competition and reward to make the choice to come to school every day.

“While Rasmussen State School won the minor premiership by winning the most weeks in the competition, Garbutt, who only won the weekly rounds three times, had some impressive improvements in the final weeks with a 9.3 and 11.3 points improvement in school attendance rates compared to the same period last year,” Cowboys community relations manager Fiona Pelling said.

“While winning classes in each school received weekly prizes, Garbutt was the overall winner with an average 3.3 point improvement in school attendance rates over the competition period.

“The involvement of the Cowboys and the chance for the whole school to go to a Cowboys game was a great incentive to both students and their parents.”

Garbutt State School principal Wendy Geddis said the school was very pleased with the improvement in attendance at school over the two terms.

“For every student and teacher to be able to attend a Cowboys game and everyone being invited to be part of the on-field guard of honour will be a fantastic experience,” she said.

“The excitement at school is really building and we hope that this week will see our best attendance rates for the year.”

The Garbutt students received their match tickets from their Adopt-a-School Cowboy Sam Hoare and Try for 5! ambassador Johnathan Thurston today.

“Getting a sound foundation education in primary school is absolutely critical to very kid’s future and that can’t happen if they don’t go to school regularly,” said Graeme Neilson from BHP Cannington Mine.

“I can’t wait to see the whole Garbutt school at the game and celebrate such a great achievement.”

The winning schools for each week were:
• Week 1 - Rasmussen State School
• Week 2 - Rasmussen State School
• Week 3 - Rasmussen State School
• Week 4 - Rasmussen State School
• Week 5 - Garbutt State School
• Week 6 - Vincent State School
• Week 7 - Vincent State School
• Week 8 - Garbutt State School
• Week 9 - Garbutt State School
• Week 10 - Heatley State School
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Help-us-FarewellMatty-in-style/83781

Help us #FarewellMatty in style!

Thursday 5 September 2013



Help us send Matty Bowen out in style!

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys will farewell club legend and life member Matthew Bowen at the end of this season, after 13 years, 268 games and many, many memorable moments.

Here are some ways that you can #FarewellMatty!

1. Share our #FarewellMatty pic on your social media profiles – tag it #FarewellMatty
>>> Download Mango Magic infographic

2. Post your message for Matty and photos on Twitter or Instagram – tag it #FarewellMatty

3. Be at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night for Matty's last home game - tag your posts #FarewellMatty

4. Check out all the messages for Matty!
 

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http://www.cowboys.com.au/news-display/Sims family at Schoolgirl Challenge/83760

Sims family at Schoolgirl Challenge

Thursday 5 September 2013



It will be a family affair in Townsville this Friday when Cowboys stars Tariq and Ashton Sims join their World Cup winning sister Ruan and her Jillaroo teammates Deanna Turner and Renae Kunst at the inaugural Cowboys Schoolgirls Challenge.

More than 350 footy loving girls between 12–18 years of age will make up the 26 teams that will take to the field for the first time in North Queensland following the success of both the Broncos and Titans Challenges in Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.

“I can’t wait to get to Townsville and see my fellow teammates Renae and Deanne, oh and my brothers,” Ruan said.

“It is a great feeling to know that we will be standing on the sidelines as a family coaching so many girls.”

“The competition is healthy and to have so many teams entering is a tribute to the great work the game is doing to get girls involved.”

Schools competing include: Shalom Christian College (Townsville), Townsville State High, Charters Towers, Kirwan State High, Heatley Secondary College, Mackay State High, Mercy College (Mackay), Holy Spirit College (Mackay), Proserpine State High, Slade Point State School (Mackay), Cranbrook State School, Cairns West State School, Balaclava State School (Cairns), Parramatta Park State School (Cairns), Woree State College (Cairns), Malanda State High, and Djarragun College.

The day will run from 10am–2pm and all girls who play in the Challenge will receive a ‘Women in League’ footy and a medallion for participating from the NRL.

The Cowboys Team Shop and membership team will be setting up on the day, for supporters to purchase all of their favourite Cowboys merchandise and sign up to join the stampede.
 
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