Per­fect time to take on a ‘ per­fect Storm’

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

IN the face of a per­fect storm comes the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for re­demp­tion.

With the hours count­ing down un­til the Cow­boys clash with the in-form Mel­bourne Stor­mat Dairy Farm­ers Sta­dium, coach Neil Henry said tonight was a golden chance for his play­ers to prove that their game against New­cas­tle was a mere aber­ra­tion.

‘‘ I think there’s a real op­por­tu­nity to show that, ( the play­ers) were very un­happy with their per­for­mance in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively as a club,’’ he said.

‘‘ Time will tell, but there’s cer­tainly been fo­cus this week and it’s a real attitude and com­mit­ment thing on the night.

‘ ‘ This side ( Mel­bourne) don’t give you much, they’ve been very con­sis­tent.’’

Henry said of par­tic­u­lar im­por­tance to the team was the need to play with the re­quired amount of com­mit­ment and in­ten­sity to earn the re­spect of their home crowd.

‘‘ We are at home and we need to play well. Our fans de­serve a strong per­for­mance ev­ery time we step out on Dairy Farm­ers Sta­dium,’’ he said.

‘‘ I think a few of the boys have been on the record say­ing their in­di­vid­ual per­for­mances weren’t good enough last week and they need to step up.

‘‘ There were 17 men out there last week and I think there would have been four play­ers that we talked about who played the game they should have played. But the other 13 were be­low par.’’

Tonight’s clash fol­lows a con­tro­ver­sial book­ing bun­gle that had Satur­day night’s Nitro Cir­cus event pen­cilled in at the same time as the round three NRL fix­ture. The ground has, how­ever, been given the all-clear for tonight’s game de­spite fears it might have been dam­aged dur­ing Satur­day’s event.

For the fans at tonight’s en­counter, Henry said they would be in for a treat when Johnathan Thurston puts his bag of tricks to the test against cur­rent Aus­tralian half­back and Mel­bourne play­maker Cooper Cronk. Henry said the highly cov­eted No. 7 Test jumper was Thurston’s for the tak­ing.

‘ ‘ Johnathan was in­cum­bent Test half and I think it was in­jury more than the per­for­mance that meant that he missed out on it last year,’’ he said.

NO EX­CUSES: Neil Henry lays it on the line

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