NYC Match Preview: Raiders v Cowboys
The Canberra Raiders U20's will be looking to make a strong start to their season when they take on the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday in Townsville.
After a strong finish to the season last year, that saw them charge into the finals, the majority of the squad returns to the fold again this year.
Coached by Brett White, the Raiders possess a big and experienced forward pack. The backline, while not quite as experienced, is full of exciting potential, including Fijian flyer Kitione Vikash and young centre Seb Kris.
Kalani Going will captain the team in his third season of playing NYC for the Raiders. Going missed most of 2016 with an ankle injury, but has displayed impressive form throughout pre-season and the Raiders trial matches.
The Cowboys finished second on the ladder last year and boast a very strong squad for Round 1.
Wonderkid Kalyn Ponga has been named in the Cowboys NYC and NRL teams, and he will be the man to watch if he does end up playing NYC. Ponga destroyed the Raiders at the recent Auckland Nines, showing that he can break a game open in an instant.
Kick-off is at 4.45pm AEDT, 3.45pm AEST, on Saturday. The match is not televised. Brief updates will be on the Raiders Twitter.
As of Tuesday, Feb 28
|Canberra Raiders||North Queensland Cowboys|
|1. Harry Van Dartel||1. Kalyn Ponga|
|2. Matt Lyons||2. Michael Carroll|
|3. Sebastian Kris||3. Enari Tuala|
|4. Andre Niko||4. Bacho Salam|
|5. Kitione Vikash||5. Nathan Traill|
|6. Jayden Carroll||6. Mitch Dunn (c)|
|7. Logan Spaander||7. Jake Clifford|
|8. William Samuel||8. Kaleb Fuimaono|
|9. Jarred Tuite||9. Calum Gahan|
|10. Zac Masters||10. Emry Pere|
|11. Jack Murchie||11. Cody Maughan|
|12. Kalani Going (C)||12. Hiale Roycroft|
|13. Sione Afemui||13. Corey Horsburgh|
|14. Sato Ketia-Opo||14. Reuben Cotter|
|15. Kye Madden||15. Connor Luhan|
|16. Emre Guler||16. Jayden Stephens|
|17. Daniel Keir||17. Jack Lote|
|18. Matthew Scott||18. Jack Glossop|
|19. Connor Brebner||19. Sam Murphy|
|20. Lachlan Cooper||20. Kurt Wiltshire|
|21. Sam Finnegan||21. Ryan Lloyd|
|22. Mikaele Ravalawa||22. Duarne Dempsey|
|23. Komiti Tuilagi||23. Oscar Carter|