Dream start for Cow­boys

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

SUD­DENLY the year ahead for the North Queens­land Cow­boys looks a lit­tle brighter.

Their thrilling 16-14 win over the Bris­bane Bron­cos last night cer­tainly gives them the per­fect start to sea­son 2011 and coach Neil Henry said the per­for­mance had cre­ated a ‘‘ warm and fuzzy’’ feel­ing in the squad. But a calf in­jury to Scott Bolton in the first half took a lit­tle gloss of the win, with Bolton to un­dergo scans to an in­jury which is ex­pected to put the Mourilyan prod­uct out of ac­tion for two weeks.

The dis­ap­point­ment of Bolton’s in­jury aside, some glimpses of bril­liance from usual sus­pects Johnathan Thurston and es­pe­cially Matt Bowen was matched by a te­nac­ity in de­fence that many North Queens­land fans would not have thought pos­si­ble only a few months ago.

But there they were, mak­ing one last-gasp tackle af­ter the other to put a halt to the Bron­cos jug­ger­naut that was on the verge of surg­ing to a last-minute win in front of 45,119 home fans. It’s a fact that Cow­boys co-cap­tain Johnathan Thurston read­ily ad­mit­ted last night when asked whether they could have won the pres­sure cooker con­test last year. ‘‘ I don’t think so,’’ Thurston said. ‘‘ The amount of work we’ve put in through the pre-sea­son and just t he at t i t ude of t he boys, t he will­ing­ness of the boys to turn up, it’s a very pleas­ing re­sult for us.’’

Henry re­it­er­ated Thurston’s com­ments when say­ing his charges had come right around in their abil­ity to hold out back-to-back sets.

‘‘ They had to do a lot of work out there and keep turn­ing up for each other, it’s some­thing we’ve worked hard on it’s no se­cret,’’ Henry said.

‘‘ With ( as­sis­tant coach) Peter Ryan at the club we’ve worked very hard but you can work as hard as you like, you’ve still got to turn up and do it on game day.

‘‘ I’m very proud of their ef­forts to keep turn­ing up for each other.’’

Henry said it was close to be­ing the per­fect type of win.

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