The Cowboys were the latest club to find it difficult to back up after a win in Monday night football. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos

Cowboys stranded as Cyclone Ita hits Townsville

Cowboys officials insist preparations for Friday's clash with the Sea Eagles in Gosford will not be affected despite the side being stranded for more than 24 hours in Sydney due to the effects of Cyclone Ita in North Queensland.

Following Saturday night's loss to the Wests Tigers in Campbelltown, the Cowboys were due to fly back to Townsville at midday on Sunday but were advised early Sunday morning that their flight had been cancelled. They are now due to return home on Monday afternoon.

The Cowboys face another tricky travel assignment later in the week with the clash with Manly to be played at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford but say that with what they achieved on Sunday their preparation will be as complete as possible.

"We've had plenty of time to prepare for this part of the season; this is a hiccup but some things you can control and one thing you can't control is a cyclone," said football manager Peter Parr.

"Compared to what our fellow North Queenslanders have been through the last few days we've got off light.

"From a recovery and preparation point of view we don't think we will lose too much. We did our normal recovery this morning, tomorrow was going to be the team review and massage and we've been able to arrange to do that in Sydney so everything we were going to do in Townsville tomorrow we've been able to do here in Sydney today.

"It's not ideal but it's something we believe we've been able to handle reasonably well and come Friday night we don't believe the delay of 24 hours will have an impact on the result."

Some areas of Townsville experienced flooding as Cyclone Ita brought strong winds and heavy rain on Sunday morning but players and coaching staff have been able to remain in contact with their families and no one has suffered any property damage at this stage.

Limited flights had begun operating out of Townsville Airport again at 5pm Sunday evening.

Antonio Winterstein is unlikely to make the return journey to Sydney with his teammates on Thursday with a hamstring injury almost certain to keep him sidelined for at least one week following an MRI in Sydney.