Cowboys coach Paul Green has handed a rap to most of his starting pack but easily the most eye-catching – Jason Taumalolo's record-breaking 345-metre effort – was shrugged off as business as usual.
The Cowboys pack made a statement, with Jordan McLean and the returning Josh McGuire very strong early and Coen Hess having his best game in a long time.
For most that will be lost in the wash after Taumalolo's superhuman effort – the most metres in a match by a forward – but those efforts weren't lost on Green, who admitted he was worried his while squad would be flat after a huge day of travel and having to play in an empty stadium.
"I'm used to seeing it [from Taumalolo], he just does what he does and he was great tonight," Green said.
"Jordan McLean in attack was outstanding tonight, I'm not sure about his stats but he had real purpose with what he wanted to do with the ball and set the tone early in the game.
"Hessy has made some changes over the off-season. By his own admission he was a bit disappointed with his season last year. He's committed to putting his best foot forward this year and he's started the season pretty well."
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With the Cowboys rushing from ANZ to get a charter flight back to Townsville having left north Queensland at 11am on game day and arriving at the ground four hours before kick-off, Green shrugged off the extra travel duties as something they will adapt to.
"I was really worried about them being flat, it's been a long day," he said.
"More so just because we're not used to it. We've never had a preparation like this before for a game.
"Sometimes you don't want to be at ground too early because guys start getting switched on too early and waste energy. It's tricky getting that right, I've got to give a big rap to the staff and players how we handed it, they were ready to play from kick-off.
"We'd typically never get to a ground that early. Sometimes it's OK if there's a game beforehand, you can switch off from your game but there was none of that. We were the only ones here. We left Townsville at 11 or 11:30 this morning so it was a pretty long day but as a I said I thought we handled it well and played well tonight.
"It will become routine for us, it will become easier in that respect. It's about managing down time and working out a good way to spend that so the boys don't feel tired or flat or fatigued."
Given players usually struggle to get to sleep after a late game, the fact they will be able to wake up in their own beds may even be a benefit for their recovery later in the week.
"From that point of view it probably is better but we won't know until we go through it," Green said.