Henry to wield axe af­ter Knight­mare

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

INEPTITUDE will not be tol­er­ated by Neil Henry, who will bring down the se­lec­tion axe on the Cow­boys to­day.

Still com­ing to terms with North Queens­land’s meek of­fer­ing against New­cas­tle at the week­end, the Cow­boys coach in­di­cated he would ring in the changes ahead of red-hot Mel­bourne’s ar­rival for their round three NRL clash next Mon­day.

Henry was scathing of his side’s ef­fort and com­mit­ment in the flat­ter­ing 12-point home loss to the Knights, ques­tion­ing whether the team had got ahead of it­self fol­low­ing the first- up win over Bris­bane.

While giv­ing lit­tle away on who’d face the cut, an er­ror-rid­dled game from winger Michael Bani leaves him a likely can­di­date.

‘‘ There is no doubt we were dis­ap­point­ing and some in­di­vid­u­als were quite dis­ap­point­ing by their stan­dards and our stan­dards and I wouldn’t d i s c o unt a c o upl e o f changes,’’ Henry said.

‘‘ Cer­tainly our edges we’ll have to have a look at it – we’ll re­view it to­mor­row morn­ing and an­nounce the team to­mor­row.’’

If Bani were to make way it would open the door for im­pres­sive young­sters Moses Pan­gai, who has had an ex­plo­sive start with the un­der-20s team, and off-sea­son re­cruit Kal­ifa Fai Fai Loa af­ter he scored a try in the Queens­land Cup on the week­end.

‘‘ He’s ( Pan­gai) been in pretty good form,’’ said Henry, who also praised the ef­forts of sec­ond-rower Dane Ho­gan in the Queens­land Cup.

Like Bani, young prop James Tamou also had an un­happy night with his hands and missed a cou­ple of cru­cial tack­les.

But 121m gained and 34 tack­les from 59 min­utes in op­pres­sive con­di­tions should en­sure he gets a shot at re­demp­tion.

‘‘ He’s got to get the bal­ance right but he cer­tainly con­trib­uted on the night,’’ Henry said.

The Cow­boys, who have failed to reach the fi­nals since 2007, were greeted with head­lines of ‘‘ Here we go again’’ fol­low­ing the loss to the Knights. But Henry was con­fi­dent the new Cow­boys would prove the crit­ics wrong.

‘‘ This team has got a fair bit of re­solve, we know we can do much bet­ter than that and they’re de­ter­mined to do that,’’ Henry said.

If the Cow­boys don’t re­store the sort of starch that high­lighted their win over Bris­bane, though, Henry warned a Storm mas­sacre would be on the cards.

‘‘ If we turn up and de­fend the same way then they’ll put 50 on us,’’ Henry said.

‘‘ We spoke about it on Sun­day and . . . all agreed it was a poor per­for­mance and we need to im­prove in a num­ber of ar­eas if we want to be com­pet­i­tive against Mel­bourne.’’

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive front-rower and co­cap­tain Matt Scott corked to his knee early in Satur­day’s game, but Henry said the 25-year-old would be fit to face the Storm.

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