Guest writer and NRL tragic Ricky Ricardo returns today and gives his opinion on the North Queensland Cowboys and their horror run of form.
Can the North Queensland Cowboys stop the rot?
That is a question that many fans are asking themselves. Is their team really in a bad form slump or will it be reversed with one good performance? Only time will give us the answer to that question, but at this stage it doesnâ€™t look likely.
The Cowboys have now lost a club record 7 games in a row. That’s demoralising for any team surely, just ask the Rabbitohs. The effect that would have on player morale, team confidence both during the game and during training is just gut-wrenching to even think about. As a follower of the NRL, you cannot help but feel for the club as they go through this hard time. Sure they have had injuries to key players, suspensions to back-up players and State of Origin players, but good teams have the youth and experience to back up those players day in day out.
Jonathon Thurston is definitely not pulling his weight. As the side’s leading playmaker he needs to step up and have a more prominent role in the club’s performances. He’s losing his grip at a rapid rate as the game’s best player. He was the key to their success for the past two years as the Cowboys made it to the latter stages of the finals. But he’s losing his touch most definitely. Question us, can he get it back and inspire the Cowboys to a mid season surge? It has been done before by other teams and with each team capable of beating any other, it can most certainly happen again.
And yes, Matthew Bowen, arguably one of the best fullbacks in the game is injured, again, for a prolonged period of time. That is one area that the Cowboys really struggle, depth when their frontliners are out of the side. His meter gains are outstanding in virtually every NRL match he plays, his ability to break the line is incredible and for such a small man, he is exceptionally strong. There is no one there to cover for him at fullback. The Cowboys need someone while he is out to provide that same spark. They need someone and they need someone quick. Questions is, who?
Is the wooden spoon something that the Cowboys want? They seem to be in a two-horse race with fellow strugglers South Sydney. Both of whom are on 8 points and languishing at the bottom of the table. For the Cowboys sake, and for the sake of their fans, they need to hope that it is not them in order to remain a top flight team for many seasons to come.
Their results can only be brought upon themselves when you think about it. Dumping Coach Graham Murray before the season even started, Matthew Bowen missing out on most of the season so far, Thurston and Webb playing State of Origin, Murray forced to walk away halfway through the year, Millward taking over and seemingly not being able to lift morale.>
How can a team possibly come back from this list of disasters, all in a single year? And things were only made worse following Luke O Donnell’s suspension for two separate incidents two weeks ago. He is out for another month leaving Carl Webb as the only prominent forward in the side, the other player they rely on to get results and provide the run they need. Jonathon Thurston is the other player of course.
Lacklustre, dreadful and disorganised are just some of the words being used to describe the Cowboys and their recent performances. Ok so the Knights copped 13 straight losses last year and itâ€™s taken them a good year to recover – but to lose 7 games in a row and your last 4 home games within that, is definitely not something the Cowboys need. As many are saying, it could be the straw that breaks their back and sends them spiraling back to the dark old days of the NRL when they simply were not competitive.
Overall, if the Cowboys don’t improve and improve quickly, they will get the wooden spoon and for the sake of their club and their history, that’s definitely not something they want on their record.