Aim up, Green urges charges
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.