Taumalolo believes home run will help
JASON Taumalolo believes the Cowboys have a renewed sense of confidence as they head into this weekend’s bye knowing they won’t be “chasing their tails” in the run to the finals.
The sixth- placed Cowboys could need to win as few as three of their last eight games to secure a finals berth after a promising run of form during the traditionally tough Origin period.
Paul Green’s men have won four from their past five – with the only blemish a nailbiting 23- 22 golden point loss to the Storm in Melbourne – to be a win clear of the Dragons ( 7th) and Eels ( 8th) while the ninthplaced Panthers are still six points adrift.
North Queensland’s run home won’t be easy as they take on top four sides the Storm, defending premiers Cronulla and the Roosters before finishing the regular season with another epic derby clash with the Broncos in Townsville.
But with four of their last eight games at home as well as taking on Souths in Cairns after the bye, Taumalolo said the Cowboys were confident they would keep finding ways to win.
“It’s great to go into a bye knowing that we’re not chasing our tails at the end of the season,” Taumalolo said.
“These last five games we’ve had, it would have been ideal to win all of them, but I guess there were a lot of good things out of that tight loss to the Storm and it led to back- toback wins.
“I think it’s just a good freshen- up now to get us ready for the back end of the season and trying to have that late run towards the finals.
“The boys will be keen for a good break.
“I think I’ll play the old cliche card and say we don’t want to look too far ahead of ourselves and worry about finals. We just want to take it weekby- week.
“Our mentality for the rest of the season is just go in there and find a way to win.
“Especially after the setbacks we’ve had with a lot of players injured.”
Injuries have hit hard in North Queensland, with cocaptains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott both out for the season, but mid- season recruit Te Maire Martin has already turned heads just one game in to his Cowboys career.
The young five- eighth scored two tries in his Cowboys debut in Canberra last weekend and Taumalolo felt Martin could play an important role in their premiership charge as he builds his confidence alongside halfback Michael Morgan.
“Not many players can say they debuted for a club and scored two tries,” Taumalolo said.
“He played pretty well and he’ll be looking to improve on that and hopefully get to know the plays a bit more, but he went out there and did a fantastic job for us.
“He’s still a bit quiet, obviously being new to the team, but given a couple more weeks and with Morgo’s help there, I think he’s more than happy to learn.
“Morgo’s been one of the leaders in our team and he’ll definitely learn a few things off him and hopefully grow in confidence and be a bit louder on the field.”