Complacency costs Cowboys
The North Queensland Cowboys have been left to rue a missed opportunity, with coach Paul Green disappointed that his side let slip a golden opportunity to beat the Roosters and push for a top four berth.
The Cowboys were dominant in the first half after conceding the first try, but a penalty against debutant Braden Uele swung the momentum, giving the Roosters the ball when the Cowboys thought they had forced an error.
As the Roosters sniffed an out from their tough situation they went on to score three unanswered tries, with the Cowboys unable to lift until late in the second half when their defensive effort had worn them out.
"I thought we probably needed a little bit more intensity with how we prepared for the game. There was a good opportunity for us there on the weekend with what happened with other games," Green said.
"I think some of us may have just treated it as another game rather than just getting themselves right up for a really good performance."
The Cowboys still performed well for the majority of the game, showing grit to come back after the Roosters scored early points, as well as levelling out the possession in the last 15 minutes.
The turn coincided with the return of forwards Jason Taumalolo and John Asiata, as well as the electric Jake Granville at dummy-half, but it wasn't enough to breach a Roosters' defensive line that had turned into a brick wall at half-time.
"I thought we played really well in patches, we just probably didn't fight hard enough. In that second half they had a glut of possession there and they really got into us with their power game," Green said.
"We just didn't hang in there long enough, I reckon if we could have just held them out for one of those tries I thought the game would have turned.
"At the end there we got another chance with a couple of good opportunities but lacked a bit of composure and obviously our defensive effort had taken a bit of the gas out of us by then."
The Cowboys won't have any trouble preparing for their next game, and are pleased to have the short turnaround when they take on the Melbourne Storm in Townsville on Friday night.
Granville is looking forward to the clash, and recognises it as another opportunity to stamp the Cowboys' name on the list of premiership contenders.
"We'll learn from [the second half performance] and we're pretty keen to hook into the game on Friday against the Storm," Granville said.
"We're lucky it's a short turnaround and we can concentrate on playing against Melbourne, another quality side. We can realise that you've got to notice those opportunities in a season like this, when you get them you've got to grab them with both hands."