Thurston explodes after copping another late hit
Johnathan Thurston didn't mince his words when asked his thoughts on being blindsided in a tackle for the second week in a row during the Cowboys' 26-12 win over Manly on Thursday night.
The Storm's Sam Kasiano copped a week for his late shot on Thurston in Townsville in round 12 and this week it was Manly back-rower Jack Gosiewski targeting the game's best playmaker.
Gosiewski was placed on report in the 16th minute after hitting Thurston with a shoulder charge well after he had released the ball.
And the Cowboys skipper has had a gutful of the late shots.
"It s--ts me. It's not part of our team or the way we go about our business," Thurston said.
"What is it going to take? Me getting a broken rib and being out for three or four weeks before they really clamp down on it?
"There's a difference where you take it into the line trying to create space and you get whacked while you're at the line.
"I can take that but when I've passed the ball and I'm relaxed....it's not only halfbacks... any player that's relaxed and gets a late hit can be very damaging."
Thurston was asked if the NRL judiciary should start suspending players for much longer, or whether the on-field referees needed to act in the moment.
"Are you part of the game's committee?" Thurston said, looking straight at coach Paul Green.
Green and Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary are the two coaches on the NRL's competition committee that offer advice and guidance on rule changes.
"They've spoken about using the sin bin for foul play," Green said. "When the bloke who passes the ball is relaxed and usually he's hit when he can't see it coming - from the side or from behind.
"They are the dangerous ones, and they're the ones we've got to stamp out or someone will get seriously injured."
It was the only downside to the Cowboys celebrations as Green praised his powerhouse lock Jason Taumalolo for his an 80-minute performance which featured 25 runs for 234 metres, 11 tackle busts and 103 post-contact metres.
"He was enormous. He knocked out 80 minutes for us and we needed that type of performance from him tonight," Green said.
"We needed if from Jase and he pulled one out for us. I said to him during the week, 'I hope you're rested up big fella, there's no rest for you this week'.
Given his depleted stocks from Origin, injury and suspension, Green was more than satisfied to come away with the Cowboys' first win at Lottoland in seven years.
"I reckon in my time at the Cowboys that's one of the best, if not the best, win we've ever had," he said.
"Given the way our season has been going, when you've had a couple of gut-wrenching losses the last two weeks, and we lost Matt Scott to the judiciary and Scott Bolton didn't get through with his ribs, there were a lot of disruptions to our week.
"We had a lot of kids in there, some guys who haven't played a lot of first grade."
Mitchell Dunn made his NRL debut, while Sam Hoare played his first NRL game this year and Francis Molo his third.