North Queensland Cowboys are bracing for a disrupted preparation due to a looming Tropical Cyclone Debbie but still expect Friday’s NRL home match to be played.
North Queensland Cowboys may be limited to just one field training session ahead of Friday night’s NRL home clash with South Sydney as Tropical Cyclone Debbie looms.
The Cowboys closed their main office in Townsville on Monday while the team were kept indoors with a video and weights session as wild weather threatened the region.
Cyclone Debbie is expected to cross the Queensland coast between Ayr and Bowen south of Townsville by Tuesday morning as a Category Four system with wind gusts of up to 260km/h.
Flooding is expected in the Townsville region with the torrential rain from the cyclone set to coincide with a storm surge in the region.
North Queensland said they were still planning to host the game as scheduled on Friday night.
The Cowboys had hoped to hold their first field training session on Tuesday but that is expected to be either cancelled or rescheduled with indoor venues being sought.
North Queensland are bracing themselves for Thursday’s captain’s run to be their only field session for the week.
However, it may be a blessing in disguise for a Cowboys side still fatigued from starting their season with back to back golden point wins and all four games to date being played in a humid Queensland.
Cowboys coach Paul Green said their priority was ensuring the safety of their players and families rather than the round five clash with South Sydney.
“We have a couple of contingency plans particularly around training – we will wait and see,” Green said after Saturday night’s 32-26 win on the Gold Coast.
“Next Friday night is the least of our worries at this stage.”
North Queensland had some anxious moments just getting back to Townsville after the win over the Titans with some flights cancelled on Sunday due to the looming cyclone.
The Cowboys were keen to avoid a repeat of their April 2014 dramas when they were stranded in Sydney after a game due to the effects of Cyclone Ita in north Queensland.
Meanwhile, South Sydney playmaker Adam Reynolds said it was business as usual and the team was preparing to fly to Townsville on Thursday.
“Firstly our thoughts are with everyone who lives up in north Queensland and the areas that are going to be affected,” he said.
“We just hope they’re safe and well prepared.
“But we’re preparing to get up there and play a game.”