Whether you want to call the Cowboys ruthless, destructive or on-song, or whether you want to call the Warriors poor, hapless and woeful – it was an ugly scoreline never the less for the Warriors, as they went down by 40 points in Townsville.
It was one-way traffic from the opening kick-off, as the Cowboys scored the games first points in just 2 minutes, before running away with it – winger Ashley Graham returning to the top of the NRL’s try-scorer list, after scoring a hat-trick.
The entire game was all about the clincal nature of the Cowboys attack, with their usual attacking men in Johnathan Thurston and Matt Bowen excelling, as well as some unheralded players in Kane Linnett, Gavin Cooper and little known halfback, Michael Morgan.
The loss was made even worst for the Warriors, with fullback Kevin Locke departing the field, with what looked like a potentially serious ankle injury.
The loss continues the Warriors bad run of form, and coach Brian McClennan admits that he is the firing line, and that his job is well and truly on the line.
“I’m the bloke steering the ship, steering the bus,” said the former New Zealand and Leeds boss.
“The pressure comes on me. I accept that.”
Although he is unsure of what to expect of the added pressure that will be placed on him as the coach, the man they call Bluey says that he is only doing what he knows is best.
“All I can say is I’m doing the best I can do, I’m doing what I know and what’s worked for us in the past.
“I’m big enough and ugly enough to cop it.”
With the Cowboys playing some attractive football, coach Neil Henry knows that to make the top 4, his side is at the mercy of the current top 4 teams, and how they play in the remaining three rounds.
“We can only control our games and Manly were pretty good against Souths,” he said.
“It made this game more crucial, I suppose, with the backlog of teams around us.”