Panic isn’t in our vo­cab­u­lary

Tear­away Tamou starts the mind games as Cow­boys crank up their ti­tle de­fence

Rugby League Week - - News - BY JOEL GOULD

COW­BOYS STAR JAMES TAMOU says his side will have the men­tal edge in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal block­buster against the Sharks.

Some be­lieve the phys­i­cally spent Cow­boys will be can­non fod­der for Cronulla after gru­elling fi­nals clashes with the Storm and Bron­cos.

But Tamou be­lieves the ex­tra-time win over Bris­bane, de­spite be­ing drain­ing, will help them ad­vance to the grand fi­nal.

“I think men­tally that Bron­cos game will help us be­cause we know in our minds that we can take our bod­ies that far and pre­vail,” he says. “Your body is al­ways go­ing to want to say ‘no’ and give up un­der that kind of fa­tigue, but your mind is what keeps push­ing you. “When you get to that point you’ve got to get up for your team-mates around you. “When ev­ery­one else thinks the Cow­boys are down and out, no-one in our side gives up. No-one puts their head down. No-one kicks stones or drags their bot­tom lip.

“We stayed in the fight and we stuck with it.

“I didn’t panic at any point. Even in that last minute I still had faith, be­cause you never get let down when you think what hap­pened last year for us in the grand fi­nal.

“I’ve seen it so of­ten, so I al­ways be­lieve we can turn a game around no mat­ter what the sit­u­a­tion.”

Tamou is in awe of the form of ram­pag­ing lock Ja­son Tau­malolo and the mas­ter and com­man­der, Johnathan Thurston.

“Ja­son is an ac­tual freak of na­ture,” Tamou says.

“He now un­der­stands that he is big and pow­er­ful and can run over any­one in the game. When you’re young that thought takes a while to get ac­cus­tomed to. “But now that he has, it’s just scary. “Hav­ing 115 ki­los run into you wouldn’t be fun, but it’s fun for us when he’s on our side.

“When he makes his charges, I get in­spired. We all get on the back of that, and that’s why he’s huge for this team.

“Then you see the way JT talks, but he’s ac­tu­ally louder with his ac­tions.

“When you see him run down­field and chase his own kick or make a big tackle, it picks us up as a team.

“It’s in­spi­ra­tional when you see some­one like JT put so much into it.”

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