Henry to wield axe after Knightmare
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.