King waits for tide of change

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL SEASONAL PREVIEW - by Antony Ste­wart antony. ste­wart@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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."

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