Aim up, Green urges charges

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH jonathon. tuxworth@ news. com. au

COW­BOYS coach Paul Green has urged his play­ers to heed the les­son dished out by the Roost­ers and pre­pare for Fri­day’s block­buster with Mel­bourne like it’s big­ger than a nor­mal NRL game to keep their top- four hopes alive.

The Cow­boys looked slick in build­ing a 16- 6 half­time lead in Syd­ney on Sat­ur­day night, but couldn’t match the hosts when they dra­mat­i­cally lifted their in­ten­sity af­ter the break in the 22- 16 win.

The Roost­ers com­pleted all 21 of their sec­ond- half sets and their ruth­less­ness in de­fence put the Cow­boys on the back foot.

It was a big op­por­tu­nity missed by the fifth- placed Cow­boys given Bris­bane ( fourth) lost to Par­ra­matta on Fri­day.

“I thought we prob­a­bly needed a bit more in­ten­sity in how we pre­pared for the game,” Green said.

“It was a good op­por­tu­nity for us with what hap­pened in other games and some of us may have treated it as an­other game, rather than get­ting them­selves right up for a big per­for­mance.

“It’s recog­nis­ing the op­por­tu­nity in front of you. It’s a game where it’s not a nor­mal game in how you pre­pare for it or play, you have to step it up a notch when those op­por­tu­ni­ties arise.

“It’s not every week­end you’re ex­pected to be able to be at that level but when you get an op­por­tu­nity, you have to lift a lit­tle bit.”

The Cow­boys had beaten four teams out­side the top eight be­fore tak­ing on the sec­ond- placed Roost­ers, the start of the tough­est run home in the com­pe­ti­tion.

They are now aware what flaws they need to ad­dress be­fore they host premier­ship favourites Mel­bourne.

“That was a good les­son for that. We’ve got some teams who are go­ing to chal­lenge for the ti­tle this year we’re yet to play,” Green said.

“That’s the chal­lenge for us, to get up for those games and not treat them like any other NRL game, but to get up for a big per­for­mance.

“There was plenty to like about the per­for­mance, I thought we played well in patches but we prob­a­bly didn’t fight hard enough in that sec­ond half.

“They had a glut of pos­ses­sion and got into us with their power game, and we didn’t quite hang on for long enough.”

Green said half­back Michael Mor­gan is in no doubt af­ter cop­ping a knock to a burner in his neck he’s been manag­ing.

Cow­boys coach Paul Green.

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