Cowboys coach Paul Green doesn't want his side judged on Jason Taumalolo's output each week but Warriors five-eighth Blake Green knows shutting him down is key to beating North Queensland.
Bone bruising on the knee kept Taumalolo out of the Cowboys' loss to Cronulla last weekend. On Thursday Paul Green dismissed talk his absence contributed to that performance.
Taumalolo will be a late inclusion for Green when the Cowboys travel to the Central Coast on Friday in a 12-hour round trip.
The Sharks out-ran Green's men in the run-metre department by just 127 metres last week with the Cowboys coach eager to point out the minimal difference.
"Everyone makes light of the fact we lost because Jase was out but I think we weren't that far off," Green said.
Warriors v Cowboys - Round 5
"Not blaming anyone but had our left edge stopped any of those tries we'd probably have got a different result.
"To pin the loss on the fact Jase wasn't playing, Hessy [Coen Hess] wasn't playing – he's a State of Origin player and no one's really mentioned him much … I think most of the blokes did their jobs last week, there were just a few lapses on the left edge.
"Had we been better in that area we wouldn't be talking about it. He's one of our starters regularly so it's always good to get any of those guys back in the side. It's also good to get Hessy back, he's trained well all week."
We didn't play with the same level of energyPaul Green on his side's loss last weekend
In contrast to Paul Green's words, Warriors playmaker Blake Green said Taumalolo's influence on the Cowboys forward pack was evident.
"He's a huge threat for them, carries the most metres for them every week and probably has the most touches," he said.
"He's had a week off and is freshened and ready to go. He's a huge focus area for us, a huge part of their game and they've got a young kid on debut."
Meanwhile, Blake Green said the Warriors were feeling more settled this week after an opening fortnight of the season's resumption brought mixed emotions on the scoreboard.
The Warriors were held to zero against Penrith for the second time this season but Green was confident of a fast turnaround.
"The first week for us was pretty emotionally charged for us [against the Dragons]," he said.
Battle of the fullbacks
"We put a whole heap of energy into our performance in the first game. I'm not sure if there was a bit of a come-down, we didn't play with the same level of energy.
"It took us nearly three hours to get to Campbelltown last week on Friday afternoon. There's no excuse for how we play but in terms of preparation this is the best advantage for us, to have a game around the corner on the Central Coast."
Warriors look to regain mojo for Cowboys clash