Home crowd needs to stand up for Cowboys
COWBOYS fans can be a fickle lot. Spoiled by stellar seasons in 2004-2005, supporters became used to winning. Many of those so-called fans put the boot in during under-achieving seasons in 2008-2009-2010 and much of the criticism was justified. Loyalists, however, have stuck solid and last Friday night against Brisbane, the Cowboys showed strength and defensive resilience that has been sadly lacking in the past three seasons. But what North Queensland as a community needs to realise is the players can’t do it on their own. And that’s where supporters and Cowboys devotees need to play their part. When the Cowboys were at the top of their game in 2004-2005, Dairy Farmers Stadium was a fortress. Opposing teams feared the long trip north and the Cowboys built up an enviable home record. The Cowboys were near unbeatable on their home patch, with 20,000 screaming fans getting behind the local boys. Home crowd support in professional sports can often be the difference between winning and losing. It is the X factor and in recent seasons it has disappeared from Dairy Farmers Stadium. If Cowboys supporters are fair dinkum this season, they need to get along to each home game, starting with Saturday night against Newcastle, and let their team know they have faith in them. When the Tigers run on to Leichhardt Oval or St George-Illawarra runs on to Kogarah Oval, the sea of hometown colours bathes the ground and the support for their local team is deafening. They might not win every game at home, but you can guarantee the players put in 100 per cent. That’s all any supporter can ask. The year 2011 shapes as a defining year for the Cowboys. They have so much to play for and repaying the faith of so many loyal supporters is at the top of that list. But it’s a two-way street. Dairy Farmers Stadium needs to be an ocean of blue and gold on Saturday night and supporters should be displaying as much passion and drive as the players. As the new NRL ad says, this is our house, and opposing teams need to know that.