North Queensland coach Paul Green says his team can’t afford to pay too much attention to the scoreline from their big NRL win over the Wests Tigers.
North Queensland might be coming off a record NRL win but coach Paul Green is reminding his players a tougher challenge awaits on Monday.
The Cowboys made the most of the Wests Tigers’ well-publicised off-field woes to thrash Robbie Farah and company 64-6 in Townsville last weekend – the biggest winning margin in North Queensland’s history.
Green and his men will head south to play high-flying Penrith on Monday, and the Cowboys’ coach says the contrast in opponents couldn’t be starker.
“We’re playing against a team that’s going much better than what has been happening at the Tigers in recent weeks,” Green said of the third-placed Panthers.
“It’s about reviewing the game honestly.
“Whilst you can get carried away by the scoreline like that, it’s important as a coaching staff, and I think we’ve done a good job, at really reviewing our game and where we need to be regardless of who we play.”
The Cowboys will spend all of next week behind enemy lines and remain in Sydney following the Panthers clash to prepare for a Saturday game the following weekend against second-placed South Sydney.
Green says the thinking behind the week-long stay is twofold – to ensure the team prepares without travel disruption and to also get used to Sydney before any finals campaign.
“We want to give ourselves the best preparation possible,” he said.
“We felt that spending two days flying and travelling would be better spent down there recovering from Monday night’s game and starting our preparation as early as we can to play Souths on Saturday.
“It gives us a good taste of having to play in Sydney which we’ll have to do eventually in the finals period. I’m really looking forward to the next month.”
The Cowboys haven’t named NSW and Test prop James Tamou for the Panthers clash but the big forward will travel with his teammates.
Tamou hasn’t played since injuring his neck against Canterbury in round 20.
Green says Tamou is improving and, if he can prove his fitness before Monday, will come into the Cowboys’ line-up.
“He’s a chance, same as last week,” Green said.
“We’ll just see how he goes through the week again, but he’s improving, getting around much better at training so, if he’s fit, I’m certainly going to play him.”