Rocky Cowboys chasing history at SCG
TOUCH: Six Rockhampton athletes will chase a piece of sporting history in Sydney this weekend.
Dave Zanette, Jayden Benbow, Cooper Marshall, Braydon Hegarty, Damon Moore and Mal Kenny will play with the North Queensland Cowboys in the grand final of the NRL Touch Premiership.
This has been the first full season of the premiership, an elite touch tournament that features men's and women's teams representing eight NRL clubs.
The Zanette-captained Cowboys will take on the Newcastle Knights at 12.40pm on Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The women's final between the Parramatta Eels and the Brisbane Broncos is at noon.
The two finals are being played ahead of the Roosters versus Warriors NRL fixture, and will be broadcast live on Fox League and live and on-demand on Kayo Sports.
Benbow, 25, said he could not wait to take centre stage on one of the country's most iconic sporting venues.
"We've been building nicely throughout the season so hopefully we can finish it off on Sunday,” he said.
"This will be the first time I'll have played at the SCG so I'm really looking forward to it. It's very exciting to be a part of it and hopefully we can make our own history on Sunday.”
The Cowboys were minor premiers after going through the competition undefeated.
They recorded one of their biggest wins against the Knights in Round 2 but Benbow said he and his teammates were not reading too much into that result.
"We know they're a very different team now than they were earlier this season,” he said.
"They're a very well-drilled, very well-structured team. They don't often go away from their style of play but they're pretty smart in the way they go about it.”
Benbow said the Cowboys had talent across the park and a core group who had been playing together for a number of years.
”We're very familiar with each other's style of play so we just have to tweak a couple of things here and there between each game and each opponent.
"We've got a lot of experienced guys and if opposition teams try to shut down one player someone else can step up.”
Benbow said he could never have imagined when he started playing touch nearly 20 years ago that he would be involved in a competition like this.
"This opportunity is fantastic, and we're all really appreciative of what we've been given here,” he said.
"The exposure the sport is getting by being played before NRL games in front of big crowds and being shown live on either Fox or Kayo is incredible.
"It's really getting touch out there. It's promoting the game and showcasing the skills in both the men's and women's games.
"Personally, I love being able to play at the top level.
"Each game is hard and hotly contested and I just love to test myself against the best players in the game.”
Benbow gets that opportunity again on Sunday.
"We're confident but we're not overly confident,” he said.
"Newcastle are a good side and they'll be hungry to win. We've beaten them in the past so they'll be trying to knock us off.
"We've just got to make sure that we're ready and we want to win more than they do.”