Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

You Had Your Chance Boys and You Blew It

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

You Had Your Chance Boys and You Blew It

Article excerpt

LEAGUE OF

THEIR OWN

TONY DURKIN

JOHNATHAN Thurston is one of the most admired players in rugby league and a terrific ambassador for the game. His laugh alone is priceless.

But if Thurston and teammate James Tamou have been quoted accurately, they are dead-set kidding if they think they deserve a say in who should coach the Cowboys. Correct me if I'm wrong, boys, but you had your on-field say in the future of recently sacked Neil Henry, and you bungled that big time.

Okay, so this is old news, but at the start of season 2013 the Cowboys were among the favourites for the title. Fielding both Test props, the most potent playmaker in the game and a well-balanced and talented roster, the mob from North Queensland was everyone's tip for the finals.

But until two weeks ago they had won just a third of their games -- six from 18. Then, inexplicably since their coach's sacking, they have won back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

Tamou, a mere shadow of the player he was last year, had the temerity to suggest only the players knew how each other was feeling, and what was needed to get the Cowboys back on track. And, as galling as this will sound to Henry, Tamou claims the players are now "putting in" for their sacked coach, whose duties finish at the end of the season.

Thurston concedes the board has the final say, but is sure the players will be allowed an input. No doubt the fans would probably like their two bob's worth as well, as would former captains and maybe even ex-coaches.

But as Wayne Bennett once famously said, "When I start listening to the advice of the fans it will be time to sit with them." In this case, the same might be said of the Cowboys players.

Money for nothing

EXCEEDINGLY admirable is the announcement by Broncos boss Paul White that the club will continue to pay injured winger Jharal Yow Yeh his full salary entitlements, even though he has not pulled on a boot in the NRL for almost two seasons. …

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