Cowboys hoping Cooper and Hess bring winning feeling back from Origin
The North Queensland Cowboys are hoping the winning feeling Maroons duo Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess experienced on Wednesday night will infiltrate the remainder of the squad over the final eight weeks of the NRL season.
Cooper, in particular, turned in a fine display in Queensland's 18-12 win over NSW and finished the series as one of the Maroons' most consistent performers.
With the duo now able to focus entirely on club duties, Cowboys assistant coach David Fairleigh is looking forward to seeing a full-strength Cowboys side take the field for the remainder of the season.
"The Cowboys have traditionally had a pretty long Origin campaign, it's been good to have Johnathan [Thurston] around that whole time while Origin has been on," Fairleigh said.
"Those guys that played in Origin are back now, back for the rest of the year, we need to win all of our games starting on Saturday with Canberra."
Given their string of close losses, the Cowboys will be looking to perfect the simple aspects of their football.
"[We need to focus on] just being really good at the fundamentals, individually everyone just doing their job for the team, playing well, just the fundamentals really, that's probably let us down in a few games," Fairleigh said.
"The last few weeks we've lost a number of close games, I think if you look at what let us down there it's the basics, it sounds pretty boring but it's truly something we have to improve on."
With only four days to recover, and a flight to Canberra thrown in, Cooper's condition will be assessed before a decision is made on how long he will play for, but Fairleigh believes the veteran second-rower has it in him to spend plenty of time on the field.