Last week, their six-game winning streak came to a sudden halt when they lost to the Titans. They’re now faced with the monumental challenge of facing Brisbane Broncos, a team currently in top form. Despite this, the Cowboys maintain a solid six-win streak at the Queensland Country Bank Stadium, not having lost a match since their Easter weekend clash with the Dolphins.
Their impressive home record might boost the team’s confidence in their match against their established rivals, but their success heavily depends on focusing on four key areas.
1. NEUTRALISE THE Broncos
The Cowboys are formidable opponents when they’re performing at their best and often manage to keep the scores of their adversaries at bay. However, with the Broncos currently averaging their highest points per game (25.2) since 2002, the Cowboys have quite the challenge on their hands.
The Broncos have won all their matches this season wherein they scored 18 or more points, though they’ve only tasted victory once when their score fell below 18.
Chad Townsend, the Cowboys’ co-captain, emphasised the importance of managing Brisbane’s dangerous fullback. He stated, “Reece Walsh has been phenomenal. He’s become a vital part of their team, forming great combinations with his teammates.”
Tom Dearden, the team’s five-eighth, echoed Chad’s sentiments, adding, “They’re an exceptional team as it currently stands. Our primary focus is on fine-tuning our gameplay.”
2. ADDRESS DISCIPLINE ISSUES
Rising star Reuben Cotter acknowledged that poor discipline contributed significantly to their recent loss. “We faltered in maintaining discipline in crucial aspects of the match,” Cotter confessed.
Townsend expressed frustration over the team’s conduct on the field. He pointed out, extensively, their ill-discipline, which he said was the most disappointing aspect of their play.
3. ADHERE TO ROLES
According to Cowboys’ players, there’s a pressing need to return to basics by focusing on fulfilling individual roles. Townsend urged his team to fulfil their responsibilities on the field, while Dearden pointed out the need to outpace and outsmart the opposition’s defence.
4. NAVIGATE CHALLENGES
The forthcoming four games pose a significant question: How will Cowboys fare without their star centre, Valentine Holmes? Holmes is ruled out due to a reckless high tackle in a previous match, causing changes to the squad and Kulikefu Finefeuiaki is out with a head injury.
Townsend rationalised the situation by saying each NRL campaign is marred by injuries and suspensions, and it’s the team’s responsibility to remain resilient.