Injuries 'no excuse' for Cowboys loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injuries 'no excuse' for Cowboys loss

By Philip Henderson 05/05/2008 06:30:13 AM Comments (0)

Under pressure North Queensland coach Graham Murray refused to blame his side's crippling injury list after the Cowboys became the first NRL club to lose to South Sydney in 2008.

Missing five forwards through injury and suspension, and forced to rush fullback Matt Bowen back into the side after originally being ruled out with a knee injury, the Cowboys lost 28-24 against the struggling Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium to plummet to 15th on the ladder.

It is hardly the start expected of the talent-laden Cowboys - who were tipped to be one of the teams to challenge for the title pre-season.

But while the loss is likely to again start up talk that Murray, who will be replaced by Canberra's Neil Henry as Cowboys coach in 2009, may not see out the season, the coach himself refused to use the club's chronic shortage of forwards as an excuse.

"We've had a few people out, a lot of teams are talking about forwards being out, but we've got a pretty good pack sitting on the bench at the moment, not playing," Murray said.

"We've had a few disruptions to our footy team, but you can't use that as an excuse once you take the field at 3 o'clock."

As well as injuries to Luke O'Donnell, Shane Tronc, Sione Faumuina and Matt Scott, the Cowboys also lost Jacob Lillyman last week to a two-game suspension.

After recovering from a three-game losing streak to start the year by winning their next three matches, the Cowboys have now dropped their last two games.

The loss was also their third in a row against Souths, who had been winless in their first seven games of 2008 and came into the game after dumping four players for breaking an alcohol ban.

"We had out chances to win the footy match," Murray said.

"We probably just weren't clinical enough.

"Every game is a danger game, there's not much in this competition, you've got to be on your game to win each match, and we knew the Rabbits weren't far off for a couple of games there."

After a strong club debut, Murray said former Newcastle forward Daniel Abraham would likely retain his spot for next week's home clash with Cronulla.

While admitting Bowen was not in the same form, or fitness, as last year, Murray said the livewire fullback was "alright".

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