The Gold Training Titans under-20s know they have a big task ahead at 1300SMILES Stadium tonight if they want to make it seven finalists’ scalps in the season.
They take on a Todd Payten-coached Cowboys side that sits aloft the top of the ladder and have not been beaten since round nine – which means they have won 13 straight games, and scored 50 points or more four times during that run.
However, the Titans have beaten the next six teams on the ladder this season and know if they get into the grind early, they can be a test for any side in the competition.
But they will have to do it without co-captain, North Queensland-bound fullback Shaun Hudson, who was injured at training this week, and tough prop Max Elliott. Rory Humphreys is also likely to miss the game.
Countering that is Shane Gillham returning from his brief period with Tweed Heads in the Intrust Super Cup, and he will take over Elliott’s No. 10 jersey.
“The Cowboys are certainly the benchmark and we know we face a pretty tough task,” said coach Ben Woolf.
“They are a very good attacking side who have scored over 900 points  and have some really good strike players, so shutting down that down will be difficult.
“But we have nothing to lose this week and will go up there and give it a good shot.
“We’ve been very good against the top sides this season and the boys seem to respond when they are up against the leading teams, and they’ll want to finish the season with a good performance.”
The return of the Schwass brothers, Daniel and Hayden, for their final Holden Cup game is a boost for the team which allows Karl Lawton to start at hooker and Chris Law, who has been strong in recent weeks, comes off the bench in tandem with Lawton.
Kick-off is 5.15pm