Kalyn Ponga turned teams inside out as the Cowboys cemented their place as Auckland Nines favourites.

Ponga and Bowen's golden opportunity

All eyes will be on North Queensland's back three on Saturday night when they clash with the Manly Sea Eagles after Antonio Winterstein and Lachlan Coote sustained injuries in Round 2. 

Kalyn Ponga and Javid Bowen will move into the fullback and wing roles respectively, with Bowen playing in the NRL for the second time in 2017.  

Much of the focus will be on Ponga as he plays in the No.1 jersey for the first time on Saturday night, after his debut in week 2 of the finals last year.   

Winger Kyle Feldt believes both players will be up to the challenge. 

"Kalyn Ponga is a good confident player, he's always been around the team, and he was all pre-season. Javid has been there before, so it's always good to know who you're going to have on the outside," Feldt said. 

Five-eighth Michael Morgan is confident that Ponga can take up the tough position of fullback, having seen him train in the pre-season and play in the Holden Cup. 

"It is a big job defensively, but we've got enough experience on our edges now that we can help him out," Morgan said.

"The hardest part about defending at fullback is when the play-the-ball is between the posts and the 20 metre line and how you sort your numbers out."

"As edges we can help him… it's no one person's job to come in and make a difference to the team, it's about us helping each other and getting through it together and that's one way we can help Kalyn."  

Ponga trained with the Cowboys during the pre-season, which should help his combinations with the rest of the team on Saturday night. 

"When we have two teams against each other he was always the other fullback. He's played there for a long time and I've got full confidence in him that he'll get the job done," Morgan said.