Taumalolo: Tigers defence the blueprint to beat Storm
Such has been the topsy-turvy nature of the opening two weeks of the Telstra Premiership, one of the competition’s pre-season favourites is already hoping to take a leaf out of the book of a club that was expected to struggle.
North Queensland Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo said his side needed to follow the pattern the Wests Tigers used to upset the Melbourne Storm when the 2017 grand finalists meet at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
Taumalolo said the manner in which the Wests Tigers hung with the Storm was a template worth following.
"One thing the Tigers did do was defend well and to keep the score that low against a team like Melbourne, not many teams can say that," he said.
"The way they defended, we'd want to defend like that too and give ourselves some confidence on Thursday night and hopefully do the job."
The Cowboys 34-6 loss to the Storm in the 2017 grand final is a pain that still burns for Taumalolo.
The Tongan international has admitted that he played his worst game of the finals series in the decider, and it's something he wants to make up for.
"Obviously, I didn't want to end it the way it did, I didn't really do much that game to be honest, I really let the team down in that game, so definitely looking forward to Thursday night and hopefully making up for it," Taumalolo said.
"It was definitely something that I held tight and wanted to remember and take into this season so hopefully on Thursday night, I'll be motivated even more to go out there and get the win."
Taumalolo says the entire side needs to step up to the level of commitment they had in last year's finals series.
The Cowboys were guilty of taking a back seat to Johnathan Thurston in their loss to the Brisbane Broncos on Friday night. The star halfback all but dragged them across the line.
As impressive as Johnathan Thurston has been during the opening two rounds, Taumalolo said the Cowboys can't allow him to be their only point of attack.
"Obviously, [Thurston] might be older but he definitely plays like he's still young, back in his days, definitely putting the body on the line," he said.
"It's great to see Johnno fresh and full of running in his legs but in saying that, we can't put that to waste by just letting him do all the work and taking the back seat."