Taumalolo says Cowboys pack not up to scratch
Jason Taumalolo admits the North Queensland pack's recent performances haven't been up to scratch, and they need less talk and more action if they are to turn their season around.
The Cowboys' forwards lacked physicality against the Wests Tigers in their round 10 loss and they'll need to muscle up against a high-flying Rabbitohs side that outmuscled competition leaders St George Illawarra in Saturday's meeting at 1300Smiles Stadium.
While the Cowboys' backs have received a lot of negative attention for their inability to score points, Taumalolo believes the responsibility to control field position falls on the shoulders of the forwards.
Their completion rate against the Tigers finished at 70 percent, a figure not helped by 10 errors in their own half.
"Personally I don't think we have been [up to our standards], but I know we can be. At the same time, you can't play much footy without the ball and our error rate at the moment has been pretty ridiculous to be honest," Taumalolo said.
"We'll have a bit of a chance if we can hold onto the ball and obviously that's something we can control, and if we can't against a team like the Rabbitohs they'll be piling on the points."
Taumalolo is looking forward to meeting the challenge, and size, of the imposing Burgess brothers in Townsville on Saturday.
"I think the Bunnies have been playing well off the back of the three Burgess brothers, we'll have our hands full on Saturday night," Taumalolo said.
"They played well against the Dragons last week and if we are any chance of winning those three would be key players for them that we will have to minimise [their impact]."
The heat is well and truly on the Cowboys, a side with just six competition points after 10 rounds.
There has been plenty of talk about being desperate for wins, but Taumalolo says they have to show it with their on-field performances.
"We've had this talk for a while now, and it's time for the boys to show it out on the field," he said.
"We can say as much as want outside the field but at the end of the day we pull on that jersey and go out on the field and our job is to make that happen."
"The older boys need to set examples, if they're not playing well the team isn't playing well, for the more experienced boys, we've been in the team for a while so it's all about leading the other boys."