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If Paul Green wasn’t so serious it would probably be funny.
“Actually, no I wasn’t really happy with the six (points conceded in the game) to be honest,” the Cowboys coach said post-game when asked whether conceding just the six points was more pleasing than scoring 64.
Giving up a single try in 80 minutes of top-grade football is no small feat, one the Cowboys had only managed twice so far this season – against Newcastle in Round 5, then Melbourne in Round 12.
But Green said the overall good performance was let down by a small passage midway through the second term where the inconsistency issue that had plagued North Queensland earlier in the season had reared its head again.
“There was a patch there in the second half where we clocked off a little bit and invited them back and that’s when they got their try but all in all there were some good performances,” said Green.
“We mucked around down our end a little bit too much and consequently they got a try but all in all, really happy with the performance.”
Arguably Man of the Match on the back of 227 run metres, 21 tackles and zero missed, Matt Scott echoed the sentiments of his coach.
“It’s probably one we shouldn’t have let through. It was pretty soft – up the middle of the field which we’ve had a bit of pride [in] – but in the past couple of weeks in particular I thought our defence has been really good. It was off the back of a couple of errors and we are disappointed as a team in that and it’s one we shouldn’t have let through.”
Not totally oblivious to their record-breaking exploits, Scott added: “(These kinds of wins don’t) happen too often. I think the competition these days is a lot tighter. It’s certainly nice to be on the good side of that scoreline but it was a game that could’ve gone either way, I think it was a tough game for us to prepare for mentally, given what they’ve been going through, so it’s really good to see.
With six players accumulating over 140 run metres, plaudits naturally came for the likes of 21-year old destroyer Jason Taumalolo (191 metres).
“He’s been impressive the last couple weeks, Jasey. You sort of forget how young he is and it has been a big learning curve for him taking the step to first grade and playing 80 minutes and I thought he’s been one of our best (recently).
After resting both Johnathan Thurston and Gavin Cooper from Tuesday training, the blowout scoreline did not tempt Green to further rest his charges, indicating that it could manifest itself into a negative way of thinking down the track.
“No. I was asked that a couple of times (from coaching staff) and I think that’d be a bit of a soft mentality. When we’re preparing for bigger games than what we played tonight, it’s about having that tough mentality.”
With their for-and-against at +164, the second best in the league, the Cowboys will now aim for a top four finish and subsequent home final, with their next challenge the third-placed Penrith Panthers at Sportingbet Stadium next Monday night.