Winterstein: Cowboys need to take ownership for embarrassing defence

Winterstein: Cowboys need to take ownership for embarrassing defence

North Queensland are fast approaching a crisis, with their attack still floundering eight rounds into the season.

Their 2-6 record following their loss to Canberra on Saturday night means they have plummeted to 15th and if they don't turn their season around soon they will miss the finals for the first time since 2011.

Winger Antonio Winterstein was frank in his assessment of the Cowboys' frustration at their inability to cross the line consistently.

"I think we're just trying to find our way at the moment, it's something we need to fix pretty quickly," Winterstein said.

"You get low on confidence and it's hard not to, especially when the game is on the line, I think individually we were lacking that focus in key moments.

"When the game comes your way I don't think we're taking enough ownership on ourselves."

Co-captain Matt Scott was similarly frustrated in the post-match press conference, admitting their completions weren't up to scratch late in the game, but it was no excuse for their poor goal-line defence.

"We're certainly putting ourselves under a little bit of pressure there with our completions, but it's hard to excuse the tries that were scored tonight," Scott said.

"Very basic tries, and they just ran over the top of us and that's a hard one to take, very disappointing from the team's point of view.

"They just wanted to win more than us at times and it's just disappointing defensively."

Scott put their lapses in defence down to a matter of focus on maintaining their level of effort, which seemed to fade in an out throughout the match. The Raiders rolled up the field to score with embarrassing ease.

"Our effort was there, I think it's just in certain areas, whether we're not quite trying hard enough or not quite doing our jobs well enough," he said.