during the round five NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Before the start of the season, the North Queensland Cowboys were one of the premiership heavyweights due to an excellent finals run in 2017 and the return of some star personnel.

However, after just one win from five games, the men from Townsville have seriously disappointed.

After their round one victory over the Sharks, the Cowboys have lost four straight. The Broncos, Storm, Panthers and the Warriors have all defeated Paul Green’s team.

The Storm managed to beat the Cowboys by 16 points while the Panthers won by 19.

While this would no doubt be hugely disappointing for the Cowboys, there is nothing to say that they cannot turn their season around as soon as next week.

Many critics have overlooked the many factors that have contributed to the Cowboys losses so far.

Calls that captain and star playmaker Johnathan Thurston has played one season too long have come far too early in the season.

The Cowboys forwards have failed to perform up front like they did at the back end of 2017, which was a huge factor in them making the grand final.

With Jason Taumalolo, in particular, being nullified, the go-forward and intimidation in the middle of the field have been severely limited.

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The most significant of these problems has been their inability to field their first choice spine. Round six will be their first opportunity to Thurston, Jake Granville, Michael Morgan and Lachlan Coote to combine.

In fact, round six will be Coote’s first game for the Cowboys in 2018 after missing the first five matches.

Coote is a very important member of the side, as his kicking and ball-playing skills take pressure off both Thurston and Morgan.

Being able to play the spine that won him the 2015 premiership will be a huge bonus for Paul Green as he heads into a vital clash with the Bulldogs.

The Cowboys round six game against the Bulldogs will be their third home game of the season, and fortunately, their following two matches are also scheduled to take place in Townsville.

A number of consecutive matches at home will provide the Cowboys with a great chance to string together a number of wins.

With these factors all coming together, we could see the Cowboys shoot up the ladder than expected and prove they are a serious finals contender.

9 COMMENTS

  1. The cowboys will still finish top 8, they just need a boot up the ass and I think the dogs might be in for it this week

  2. I agree, dogs will get flogged and are shaping up as a major disappointment. I really thought Pay would make a difference, so Des must be a bit bemused right now, given it was all his fault apparently

    • they will beat Bulldogs as the Dogs are most likely going to take the spoon, but they are well off the pace of the top teams of 2018

  3. Dogs definitely off the pace and I think we will get done by the cows unless a miracle happens.
    Montoya is a disappointment this year as is Elliot but apparently they are even in bigger salary cap issues than they are letting out to be for next year.
    Morris twins are off contract end of this year and apparently Eastwood has another 2 years? Not sure if that’s correct.
    But the dogs need something or someone really soon.

    The backline this week should be
    1. Mbye
    2. B Moz
    3. Olive
    4. J Moz
    5. Hoppa

    Even though JMK is a solid player he does not offer the spark in attack and I don’t believe the combination with him and Foran is working
    Foran on the other hand is trying his guts out but can do it by himself

    Woods needs the boot up the backside bbut I also believe if Mbye followed Woods around he would get the offload we needs to break the line.
    Klemmer can be a bit lazy atm and Jackson should move to lock

    Would love to see
    Martym
    Okanbour
    To’omoga
    Ogden
    Lewis
    maybe Cleeland as a running 5/8
    and even Wolford
    Be given a go . A bit of youth could spark these guys into action

    There are options there

    • Dogs get nothing off the bench, Elliott and Fualalo are duds, Eastwood needs to lay off the kebabs. There are too many guys in the lower grades putting themselves in contention for Pay to persist with the dead wood, and I imagine he will use this season to begin forming his own lineup

      • 100% agree

        But Eastwood did rip in last wek when he came on

        Just wish Pay could form his team quicker

        • Eastwood was also killing it in the lower grades and was great during the trials.. if he was fitter he would still be of great value.. shame. But the guys you mentioned, plus a few others can’t do any more than what they have.. just a matter of time.. I reckon Lewis is a bit of a weapon in defence and has good overall enthusiasm.

  4. I hear Carney will be cleared to play for the Cows soon. I think they need someone to give JT a rest – he looks slow and is getting bashed too much. I think they will come good in coming weeks, and finish strong when their key players get match fit.

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