ROOSTERS STILL ABLE TO CROW Taumalolo tips Chooks will lift minus leaders
COWBOYS star Jason Taumalolo has tipped the Roosters will take a leaf out of North Queensland’s book and lift without their co- captains in tomorrow night’s blockbuster NRL clash in Sydney.
North Queensland have proved critics wrong by being outside the top four only on percentages in the devastating absence of the club’s leaders Johnathan Thurston ( shoulder) and Matt Scott ( knee) for the rest of the season.
Roosters skippers Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend will both miss the Allianz Stadium showdown with the Cowboys, but will return before the finals kick off in September.
Cowboys lock Taumalolo does not believe the Roosters are susceptible without arguably the best back- rower in the game and their crafty rake as North Queensland start a tough road toward a potential top- four berth.
The Cowboys have rallied without Thurston and Scott by winning their past four games, but none have been against top- eight opposition.
They play three teams inside the top four over the next month, which is set to offer a better indication of their premiership credentials. “I wouldn’t say vulnerable is a word ( to describe the Roosters), if anything they’ll come together more as a group,” Taumalolo said.
“They’ve still got great forwards and two great halves in ( Mitchell) Pearce and ( Luke) Keary. They’re still dangerous, regardless of who is out of their team.”
Taumalolo says the Cowboys are embracing their brutal schedule as they chase a top- four berth, which looked unlikely when Thurston was told he required surgery after injuring his shoulder in Origin II. “I think it is needed,” he said. “Obviously finals are around the corner and you want to play teams who are going to be there, to see who you are as a team.
“The next few weeks we’ll do that and play a few teams in front of us on the ladder.
“There’s a lot on the line in a few big games.
“It’s unfortunate we lost Johnno and Matt Scott for the remainder of the season but everyone’s stepped up in their role and no one’s doing anything out of the ordinary to come up with the big plays and win us games. I don’t think much will change.”
JASON TAUMALOLO SERIOUS TEST: Jason Taumalolo is wary of the Roosters lifting without their co- captains, as his Cowboys side has done.