It looks like we are in the midst of seeing a new Cowboys side this year, and a more consistent one, as five-eighth Jonathon Thurston has once again stolen the show in a blistering purple patch, as he lead his team to a 30-12 win over the Sharks.
Thurston had the game on a string, as he took the bull by the horns, and just blew the Sharks off the park, with an array of beautiful passing, deft kicking and everything else in between.
Mal Meninga must be watching from home, and continually smiling, as he watches both Darren Lockyer and Jonathon Thurston blitzing the opposition every week from all angles.
To make matters even worse for the ailing Sharks, two of their youngest but most exciting players in Nathan Gardner and Albert Kelly, are expected to be out for lengthy periods of time, with ankle ligament damage and a suspected broken leg respectively.
The Sharks never looked in the game, as they were rolled by the Cowboys from the get-go. Their night was only further complicated when Gardner went off five minutes into the game, with Kelly soon to follow.
“At stages in that second half, I was looking around wondering where we were going to score points with those two off the field,” Flanagan said.
“They’re important parts of our team, especially in our attacking game, but I still thought for 30 minutes of the game we were in the arm wrestle, and JT, his class came in there.
“His kicking game stood ours up and showed how poor ours was.”
The Cowboys raced out to a quick-fire 26-0 lead, and Henry was full of praise for his sides good ball control, and great attacking play.
“That’s probably our best performance – a high completion rate and I think for a good 70 minutes of that game defensively we were excellent,” Cowboys coach Neil Henry said.
“It’s no secret our second halves haven’t been great but I thought the first 20 minutes of that second half was excellent.”
Dave Givney, the Sharks doctor, says that with some luck, Gardner may only miss two weeks, but scans will reveal the extent of the damage, but Kelly is looking to 6-8 weeks at this stage.
After four straight losses, Sharks coach Stuart Flanagan will be looking at his players, and perhaps slicing the axe in front of them.
“We probably need a bit of a freshen up and we’re going to get one because of a little bit of injury and a bit of lack of form,” Flanagan said.
“We need to win on Friday night, it’s a big game against Souths.
“There will be some changes.”
3 Jonathon Thurston
2 Gavin Cooper
1 Kalifi Fai Fai Loa