Cowboys' plan to keep Sharks quiet
After blowing a 14-point half-time lead against the Cronulla Sharks in Round 11, the North Queensland Cowboys will be paying special attention to their visitors' dangerous forward pack when they host them this Saturday.
It will be a test for the Cowboys to match it with Cronulla for the full 80 minutes and prevent their big men from stealing too much momentum at any part in the contest.
With the likes of Andrew Fifita, Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, the Sharks have the players to seize the momentum from anywhere if the Cowboys drop off with Fifita the man who broke the Cowboys' siege at Shark Park in Round 11.
North Queensland's own wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo insists the focus will need to be on all of the Sharks' forwards this week.
"It's obviously one of those games in the calendar that we as a pack look forward to, and they've got heaps of big-name players, especially through the middle, and a bit of experience," Taumalolo said.
"[Fifita] was just one of those boys that we couldn't contain… we haven't been looking too much into him but he's definitely a player we want to contain."
Possession and completion will go far towards preventing the Sharks from getting any steam up, and if the Cowboys can make them defend for as long as possible the likes of Michael Morgan, Te Maire Martin and Jake Granville will have an easier time getting the Cowboys' forwards onto the front foot.
"There was that period [at the start of the year] where our last plays weren't good enough, we were turning over too much cheap ball," Granville said.
"We've worked on that throughout the year and we'll have to nail that against this side along with our completions and finishing the end of our sets really well is something really important."
If the Cowboys can get over the Sharks on Saturday night they'll bring themselves up to 30 competition points, placing them level with Cronulla and the Parramatta Eels who occupy fourth and fifth place respectively.