His 200th game will be one that he probably will not want to remember but as their focus shifts to next week, the North Queensland Cowboys had perhaps their worst performance of the season so far, in a 34-6 loss to the Newcastle Knights last night.
The Knights, who were themselves humiliated last week by Manly, came out with a point to prove at their home stadium and they proved it, as they ran over the top of the Cowboys who made uncharacteristic errors far too often.
After the game, Thurston was honest about his side’s performance and he was not about to hold back.
“It was pretty embarrassing,” Thurston said.
“Defensively, we were really poor.”
With the Cowboys boasting perhaps one of the best sides on paper in the entire competition, the loss was one they could ill-afford, as coach Neil Henry admitting that his side was outplayed and out-enthused.
“We were out-enthused and couldn’t find a way back into the game,”he said.
For the Knights, whilst Bennett was not confident as to whether his side could bounce back or not, he was pleased with the way his side responded to the errors they made throughout the game.
“We played under a fair bit of pressure we put ourselves under … but after that we were good,” Bennett said.
“It gave me a lot [of confidence]. They’re very good at attack and they were on our try-line there for a number of sets â€“ nine minutes roughly â€“ and when you see that [defence], you know they’re on, then it’s a matter of how it pans out after that.”
With a point to prove, interim captain Chris Houston said it was Wayne Bennett who gave the side the belief that a win was possible as he built his side’s confidence in training.
“It starts at your training. You get your confidence knocked around a bit in the game but Wayne did a good job just building our confidence back at our training sessions and making sure we’re right to go by the next week,” Houston said.
“I suppose if you start well, you get a bit of confidence out of that and it carries through the game.”
There was a downside to the win, however, with back-rower Beau Scott suffering a groin injury, a re-occurrence of a previous injury.
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