King waits for tide of change
JUST one beginning waterfall.
The idea of that mantra is that something tiny is the trigger to something huge and it’s one that coach Neil Henry takes to heart when it comes to his plans of again turning the Cowboys into an NRL contender.
Once again the man dubbed ‘‘‘ King’’ has an all-star playing roster at his disposal in 2011.
J o h n a t h a n T h u r s t o n , Ma t t Bowen, Brent Tate, Matt Scott, Dallas Johnson and Willie Tonga would walk into just about any of the 16 NRL clubs, forming a star core that should have North Queensland vying for the premiership.
Yet even with the bulk of that group, the finals, let alone a title, have eluded the Cowboys since 2007.
A long off-season of contemplation brought Henry to the conclusion that success has to be as much about the individual taking ownership of their efforts as it is what the team achieves as a whole.
‘‘ We’ve got to be prepared to improve and work hard and get the little things right,’’ he said.
‘‘ If we focus on the small improvements individually then collectively we’re going to get a better result – that’s what it’s about.
‘‘ There’s a good feel and everyone’s positive about what we can achieve and we know we have to work hard to do that.’’
Since the team returned from the off-season late last year, Henry has liked what he has seen, too.
The blend of old and new have brought with it a fresh outlook and feel that the former Queensland assistant said was infectious.
But Henry wasn’t getting too carried away.
All the camaraderie and skill in day-to-day training will mean drop of rain is the of the most powerful
THINKING SMALL: Cowboys coach Neil Henry has a new mantra nothing if the Cowboys don’t get the results on the park.
‘‘ We’ve worked hard so far, but the real challenge is about to start this week – you’re playing for competition points and you like to get a bit of momentum early in the season and we’re no different,’’ Henry said.
‘‘ It’s something that has been a challenge for us, to string a couple of wins together.
‘‘ We haven’t been able to do it for a few years now – so that’s what we’re hoping for.’’
Finding that momentum starts on Friday night against arch Queensland rivals Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium. Victory there could be a catalyst for a fast start to the campaign, especially with four of the Cowboys’ next five games at home.
Henry is all too aware that things are conspiring nicely for North Queensland to re-emerge as a force.
But the stream hasn’t even started to form that waterfall he’s chasing just yet.
‘‘ The first one is the big game down there at Suncorp Stadium,’’ Henry said.
‘ ‘ We’ve been beaten by t he Broncos on the last four occasions so it would be nice to get down there and turn the tables. It’s a big game for us."