Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Cowboys and Their Loyal Fans Must Move On

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Cowboys and Their Loyal Fans Must Move On

Article excerpt




FINDING a positive from last weekend's controversial exit of the Cowboys from the NRL finals series has been virtually impossible, but hopefully the sour note isn't carried through the summer and in to next season. For their own good, the Cowboys - and their fans - must move on.

Just six finals appearances in 19 seasons belies the strength of rugby league in north Queensland and the magnificent job the club has done propagating the game since Kerry Boustead's spade work back in the mid-90s.

But the patently obvious chip on the shoulder has to be removed and the abundant talent in this current squad realised before it is too late.

Despite the sour note that accompanied last week's exit and the hullaballoo that has resulted, all was not lost. Two notable plusses from last weekend were the wonderfully-worked move for the opening try, when Brent Tate strolled over, and the sensational form of giant backrower Jason Taumalolo.

The big bloke was just about unstoppable and finally, it seems, someone has flicked his switch.

Another plus, albeit short-lived, was the form of teenage hooker Jayden Hodges. He was sharp out of dummy half and threatened often, but he is off to Manly in 2014.

With Neil Henry - sadly and ignominiously - no longer part of the establishment, fans must hope the new coach can push a few more of those often unresponsive buttons up north.

Cut the con job

ON-FIELD officiating is obviously the big fish the NRL has to fry at the moment, but another issue management needs to address is the naming of teams.

Last weekend Des Hasler played everyone for a fool by not naming Frank Pritchard and Greg Eastwood for the Bulldogs, and Ben Barba on the bench. Even former player Steve Turner became a stooge for Hasler when he appeared on Sunday's Footy Show and played dumb as to the make-up of the team for that afternoon's elimination final.

As most pundits had tipped from the start of the week, the star trio started the match. Hasler might say they passed a fitness test at the last minute, but no-one would be gullible enough to swallow that.

While the NRL has openly embraced punting on the game, and super-coach and tipping competitions have become all the rage, from the start of the week fans are entitled to know the make-up of teams. …

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