Thurston in doubt for Storm blockbuster
He sent a shiver up the spine of the 11,620 Cowboys fans in attendance, but Johnathan Thurston's hamstring injury is not much of a concern, says coach Paul Green.
Thurston will receive scans on Friday, while early diagnosis is a low-grade tear, casting some doubt over his availability for next Saturday night's second-versus-third blockbuster with the Storm at 1300SMILES Stadium.
After the game Green was unperturbed by the injury to his star man.
"It's not too bad as hamstrings go," Green said post-game.
"It's not like he was running along and just stopped straight away, so obviously we will get a scan tomorrow [to see] exactly how bad it is, and deal with it from there.
"We've got a longer turnaround into the Storm game… but we won't be taking any unnecessary risks, at this stage of the year, with him."
The Cowboys were clinical in the half hour without their main man, as Rory Kostjasyn slotted into the secondary halves role behind Michael Morgan who played strongly in his first game since Origin II.
Operating behind a dominant forward pack led by Jason Taumalolo (209 metres from 21 runs), Morgan and Jake Granville steered their side with aplomb and kicked well late in the game to give the Cowboys a confidence boost if Thurston does not recover in time for the Storm showdown.
"We certainly didn't stop playing, we kept attacking," Green said.
"I thought it was good for guys like 'Morgs' in particular. He had to step up and take control of the team and I thought he did a really good job from that point of view.
"'Morgo' normally takes a little bit to get going. When he comes back from injury we sort of write off the first game that he plays, but that wasn't the case tonight which was really pleasing.
"[He] had to step up and run the team which I thought was good for his development as a player but also good for him personally."
Co-captain Matt Scott chimed in to sing the praises of rising star Morgan, whose strong play over the past two years has helped shake the 'JT or bust' tag which has long plagued the club.
"I haven't seen the team perform as well as we did tonight with [Thurston] coming off the field," Scott said.
"It's usually a bit of an adjustment and we go into our shell a little bit and hang on defensively but tonight we kept up that attacking footy, and it's a really good sign if 'JT' isn't in the team next week."