But Thurston doesn’t see Cronk duel as Test au­di­tion

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

AS far as Johnathan Thurston is con­cerned, Mon­day night is not an au­di­tion for the Aus­tralian half­back jumper.

Thurston will pit his skills against Mel­bourne’s i n-f orm Test No. 7 Cooper Cronk in one of round three of the NRL sea­son’s most high­lyan­tic­i­pated in­di­vid­ual clashes, one that will have a ma­jor say in whether the Cow­boys put a lack­lus­tre per- for­mance against the Knights be­hind them.

A su­pe­rior play­mak­ing per­forma n c e a g a i n s t C r o n k wi l l g i v e Thurston’s chances of re­gain­ing the cov­eted green and gold spot se­ri­ous clout.

But, just two rounds into the sea­son, it’s al­ready ob­vi­ous that get­ting an edge over Mel­bourne’s half­back is one of the tough­est tasks in Aus­tralian rugby league.

‘‘ It’s go­ing to be a good chal­lenge, he’s the in­cum­bent half­back for Aus­tralia so it’s go­ing to be a good test for my­self and cer­tainly for our back three be­cause he’s got a great kick­ing game,’’ Thurston said.


‘‘ We need to com­plete and hold the ball, other­wise if they ( Mel­bourne) get 60-40 per­cent of pos­ses­sion, or 55-45, then they’ll re­ally hurt us.

‘‘ It’s not hard ( to com­plete), we’ve just got to con­cen­trate and hold the ball.’’

As for his in­di­vid­ual duel with Cronk hav­ing a bear­ing on who lines up for Aus­tralia against New Zealand in May, Thurston said he would con­cen­trate on Kan­ga­roos duty when the tim­ing was bet­ter.

‘‘ That’s pretty much the fur­thest thing from my mind, I’m just con­cen­trat­ing on what I need to do for the team so we can put our best foot for­ward and make sure the squad is pre­pared and ready to go,’’ Thurston said. ‘‘ The Storm are on fire, they have been for a num­ber of years now so it’s go­ing to be tough.’’

Spec­ta­tors were seen leav­ing Dairy Farm­ers Sta­dium near the end of last week’s match, won­der­ing whether their team had left some­thing in the sheds apart from an ob­vi­ous lack of con­cen­tra­tion.

‘‘ It was just a bit of attitude and in­ten­sity, we didn’t have much ball in the first half and so forth,’’ Thurston ex­plained.

‘‘ It made it very dif­fi­cult for us so ev­ery­one needs to turn up with the right attitude this week other­wise the Storm will towel us up.’’

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