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Hess: Cowboys can cope with frequent flying but prefer home comforts

Cowboys forward Coen Hess says non-NSW teams who may have to travel interstate will need to mix up their routine in a bid to keep players focused, particularly if asked to do so on a weekly basis.

Hess said the Cowboys' fly-in-fly-out schedule prior to the competition's round-two clash with the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium went to plan.

However, he conceded it would present a huge challenge to follow the same task each week or relocate if necessary under the revamped Telstra Premiership format, proposed to kick off on May 28.

The Cowboys endured a crazy final month as they defied the odds to make the 2017 grand final from eighth place with several commutes back and forth to Sydney, but under much different circumstances.  

"It will come down to a club trying to minimise damage on the impact it might have on players and the team," Hess told

"During those weeks in 2017 you're riding on adrenaline and you're heading towards something and are leaning on good feelings.

Green puts on teacher's hat

"If we have to travel week-in, week-out now I think it will be a challenge but if that's the road the NRL goes down it will be a matter of trying to work with it.

"The more we do it the more we can plan it out a bit better. We'll find out what works for the team as it goes and then stick with it. I'm sure every team will be different."

The Cowboys arrived at ANZ Stadium several hours earlier than an away team usually would.

They were given the keys to one of the stadium's lounge areas where they could unwind until the game kicked off, before flying home to Townsville before Sydney's airport curfew after the 24-16 win over Canterbury.

"I enjoyed it, we had a direct flight and there was heaps of leg room on the plane which doesn't usually happen on commercial flights," Hess said.

"We were allowed to stretch out and there were a few guys that had a sleep when we arrived or did some more stretching before we got fed.

"As soon as you went downstairs into the dressing rooms you flicked a switch and started getting prepared for the game. It felt like any other game after that.

"Overall it was a relaxed vibe, we didn't think much about the game until we went downstairs."

The Cowboys kicked off 2020 by winning the NRL Nines at Perth in February but their stadium opening in round one against the Broncos on March 13 didn't go to plan, ending in a 28-21 loss.

Hess hoped they would get the chance to chalk up their first victory at the new venue at some stage this year.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Cowboys

"All the hype up with the new stadium, to possibly have only one game there is disappointing," he said.

"We had two bad years previously and there was so much hype and excitement around the year leading into it.

"There's a lot riding on us this year and everyone was enjoying the build-up towards that so hopefully we can get back on track.

"The teams that look after themselves the best will be the teams that start well."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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