Green re­wards re­silient Jensen with new deal

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH

COW­BOYS coach Paul Green says a new two- year deal for young prop Corey Jensen is re­ward for “not drop­ping his lip”, af­ter be­ing forced to take the hard road to the NRL.

The 23- year- old wasn’t of­fered a deal af­ter he fin­ished in un­der- 20s, but used it as mo­ti­va­tion to break into the Cow­boys line- up this year.

Sea­son- end­ing knee in­juries to front row­ers Matt Scott and Pa­trick Kau­fusi has given the 23- year- old a chance af­ter two ul­tra- con­sis­tent Queens­land Cup sea­sons with Townsville Black­hawks.

The Bowen Seag­ulls ju­nior will play his ninth NRL game against the Sydney Roost­ers at Al­lianz Sta- dium tonight round eight.

“In­juries aren’t great, es­pe­cially when it hap­pens to our leader and the best front rower in the game in Scotty,” Jensen said.

“It gave me an op­por­tu­nity and I’m try­ing to take it game by game and hope­fully hold my spot.

“I knew real­is­ti­cally I’d prob­a­bly get a game here or there in the Ori­gin pe­riod, that was my goal, but to get as many games as I have this year is a dream come true.

“I know I can im­prove my foot­ball here and learn­ing off some of the best is why I’ve de­cided to stay here.”

Green said Jensen’s deal un­til the end of 2019 was re­ward for the af­ter de­but­ing in re­silience he’s shown. “Char­ac­ter is a big one. If you look at the path Corey’s taken, he’s worked his butt off to get where he is and I like see­ing that,” Green said. “Of­ten hard work will outdo tal­ent and Corey’s a clas­sic ex­am­ple of that.

“He didn’t get a con­tract af­ter un­der 20s and a lot of guys would drop their lip or think their footy life is over, but he worked hard and spent a cou­ple of good years in the In­trust Su­per Cup and it’s a fit­ting re­ward.”

The Cow­boys have also shown great faith in young cen­tre Shaun Hud­son by re- sign­ing him for next year, de­spite rup­tur­ing his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment at this year’s Auck­land Nines.

“Com­ing off a knee re­con­struc­tion it’s def­i­nitely a show of faith from the club,” Green said.

“We see a lot of po­ten­tial in Huddo and hope­fully we can see that next year.”

Jensen said he didn’t lose con­fi­dence he would earn a new deal af­ter the Cow­boys signed Shaun Fen­som, while star Mel­bourne prop Jor­dan McLean will also move to Townsville next year.

“Not re­ally, the rea­son I stayed here is to learn off the best play­ers and Jor­dan McLean I think is go­ing to be an Ori­gin player of the fu­ture,” Jensen said.

“I’m only young and if I can learn as much off him and Scotty as pos­si­ble it’ll help me.”

Cow­boys for­ward Corey Jensen.

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