Cowboys must be more ruthless: Green

As though a 28-point win wasn’t enough, Cowboys coach Paul Green was all business after his side’s 42-14 drubbing of the Parramatta Eels on Saturday night, saying his team “weren’t ruthless enough”.

Postgame, Green referenced the 10 minutes late in the first half where his team conceded 12 of the 14 Parramatta points.

“There was a period there in the first half where we just got a little bit excited seeing as we were up 18-0 and thought about scoring plays rather than continuing to put pressure on,” he said.

“I thought this week we were really good for 70 minutes.”

In the times North Queensland were ruthless, however, they were unstoppable.

Two 10-minute scoring explosions – early in the first half and late in the second half – accounted for six of their seven tries and gave their fans just desserts after last week’s controversial bout against Manly.

While the final scoreline indicated a whitewash, the majority of the game was hotly-contested, with certain key plays - namely from emerging success story Michael Morgan - turning the tide.

Having scored the last 14 points in the first term, Parramatta’s energy kicked up a notch and seemingly had them primed to take an early second-half lead.
 
Instead Morgan ripped down any skerrick of positivity Eels co-captain Jarryd Hayne could exit the game with, chasing the fullback 40 metres to apply a try-saver that Parramatta never recovered from.

“It lifts the team. When Jarryd makes the break, nine times out of 10 he’s going to do something about it and it was great to see that Morgo (Morgan) had the confidence to stop him,” co-captain Johnathan Thurston said of the game-changing tackle.

The seven-try effort from North Queensland is by far a season-best and comes off the back of Ray Thompson’s inclusion at halfback in place of Robert Lui.

During the week, Green indicated that his team needed more direction and talk at the attacking end of the field, and it was on display from the get-go.

“I thought Ray was very good. He kicked well, he squared up the line. I don’t think you can attribute all of our attack to Ray but he certainly did a good job in his role,” Green said.

Thurston added: “He’s a good talker. That right edge was pretty comfortable and he’s doing the job for us."

North Queensland must now await the fallout of a slight medial ligament tear to Thompson, suffered when he fell awkwardly early in the second half, though he would play out the remaining 35 minutes.