Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Mitch Dunn’s Cowboys call up this afternoon mean’s a definite change to the Mendi Blackhawks side Aaron Payne named for Townsville’s derby date with the Pride, after the coach selected the same 17 players who got the job done against another North Queensland rival last weekend.

Payne had no hesitations selecting McKenzie Baker at centre again, after the debutant’s dazzling display in Mackay.

“There was obviously a slight concern playing him out of position, particularly on his debut but he was excellent and there’s every chance he’ll get even better at centre the more he fills the role.”

The Townsville product was never going to be overawed by the occasion, given the fullback’s exploits in the New Wales Cup and having finally donned black and green in the Hostplus Cup, he’s determined to keep the jersey.

“He has plenty of positives to build on. Obviously scoring a try was a special moment for him but I liked what he brought at the start of our sets, with some strong carries. And without the ball he was really good with his defensive movements. Working on the edge there with Zac Laybutt, they came up with some important probably try saving tackles. So, he should head into round four full of confidence.”

The Mendi Blackhawks will travel by bus for the second week running, this time though it’ll head four hours in the opposite direction. The Hostplus Cup clash at Barlow Park kicks off at 5.30. Our junior sides will play throughout the day leading up to the main game. Their team lists are below.