Bowen, history inspire North Qld Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bowen, history inspire North Qld Cowboys

18/04/2008 05:19:44 PM Comments (0)

The late inclusion of Matt Bowen has lifted North Queensland before Saturday night's NRL clash against New Zealand Warriors at Townsville.

Not that the Cowboys were short of motivation.

Vice-captain Aaron Payne revealed on Friday that the Cowboys had soaked up archive footage of the Foley Shield - the famous north Queensland inter-city competition - to prepare for the Heritage Round.

The classy hooker said the Cowboys had also taken in historic past wins by the North Queensland representative team which featured his dad Mark Payne in the mid-1970s.

Payne said the team felt like getting back to their roots before running out in a replica jersey of the 1966 North Queensland representative team that pulled off a boilover win over Great Britain.

"We picked a few games out to look back at north Queensland's history," he told AAP.

"It's about making guys aware of north Queensland's heritage.

"There are a lot of guys in the team from north Queensland and have roots here.

"But the guys that obviously aren't from here are all aware of our heritage - everyone is pretty keen to get out there and get a win."

Coach Graham Murray added: "There is fair bit of North Queensland talent in our team - I think they are pretty keen to have a win on the back of heritage round."

If that wasn't inspiration enough, Bowen was on Friday cleared of a knee injury and slotted into the Cowboys squad for the Warriors clash.

Bowen passed a fitness test on his injured knee on Friday afternoon with Murray to make a decision on his final 17 on Saturday.

The Queensland Origin utility hasn't played since pulling up sore following the Cowboys round-three loss to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

He was not named by Murray earlier this week but it is expected Ashley Graham will revert to the centres with either Ty Williams or John Williams to drop out of the squad for the Dairy Farmers Stadium encounter.

The Cowboys will also have statistics on their side on Saturday night.

North Queensland have not lost at Dairy Farmers Stadium against the Warriors since 2002.

Back then fullback Lance Hohaia - who will notch 100 games in Townsville - made his NRL debut and current coach Ivan Cleary was wearing the No.1 jersey.

And the Warriors have been road kill in 2008, losing to Melbourne and Manly away to date.

Not that Murray was reading anything into the stat sheet.

"They are probably a bit like most sides. We are all a bit inconsistent - and we put ourselves in there," Murray said.

"But when a team gets consistent at this level they can win a few in a row and I think they have won two in a row and they have just got to clean up their act on away games."

For the Heritage Round, the Warriors will wear their red alternate strip from the 1999-2000 seasons.

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