with North Queensland Cowboys player THE NRL is introducing some rule changes next year around interchange and a kicking shot clock to make a more freeflowing game.
For us at the Cowboys, I don’t think the reduction in interchanges from 10 to eight will affect us too much.
Our team could probably get through now with eight interchanges, but no doubt it’s going to make next pre- season a bit harder to get us all that little bit fitter.
It will affect the bigger boys more than anyone, but our forwards like Jimmy Tamou, Jason Taumalolo and Matt Scott all can play 30- minute stints if they have to anyway.
They’re all pretty fit blokes considering how big they are and once the match fitness from playing longer minutes kicks in next year, they’ll be right to do it every week.
We’re also lucky that our High Performance Unit of Paul Bowman, Andrew Croll, Mark Henry and Anthony Wood are all really good at what they do, so they will have us all feeling very fit.
They make the training very position specific, it’s not everyone doing the same thing, and all the players have a lot of respect for them.
The new interchange rules could make the game open up at the end through fatigue but I think all teams will be the same, they’ll get fitter and get used to the way the game is played.
Hopefully it creates a few more scoring opportunities, but I think teams will adapt to it and we probably won’t see too much difference.
That’s all going ahead next year, so it’s more important for us right now to look forward to Monday night’s game against the Eels.
We are all pretty keen to get off to a good start this time and not let them build their momentum because they are tough to stop when they get on a roll, as we found out down in Parramatta in round 13.
This time of the year we want to be able to start games well and then play consistently through the 80 minutes, not let them score 30 points in 45 minutes like last time.
It’s getting to that point of the year where teams are going to be too good to run down all the time.
It will be good to be back at home for the first time in a month and I appreciate that it’s tough for a lot of people on a Monday night but I know all the boys really appreciate having a good crowd.
We have the fourth highest average crowd in the league this season and numbers are really up on last year so it’s been a really good year and it would be good to keep that going for the last four games and make it memorable.
TOP FORM: Michael Morgan celebrates after scoring a try against Manly.