Cowboys to gain from Webb's Origin pain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys to gain from Webb's Origin pain

By Laine Clark 27/06/2008 07:52:16 PM Comments (0)

The pain of Carl Webb's Origin snub is set to fuel a depleted North Queensland's desperate bid to end their NRL losing run against South Sydney on Saturday night.

The Cowboys need something special to break an eight-game drought, especially after losing playmaker Chris Sheppard (hamstring).

But North Queensland have tipped an in-form Webb to produce just that by taking his Origin frustration out on the Rabbitohs at Townsville.

Queensland chairman of selectors Des Morris revealed how close Webb had come to bumping Broncos prop Ben Hannant when the unchanged Maroons outfit for July 2's series decider was named this week.

And the omission clearly shocked Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston who implored the barnstorming prop to "hold his head up high".

Even Webb's biggest critic, ex-Test hardman Greg Dowling, admitted the Cowboys forward "could have considered himself unlucky".

Stand-in skipper Aaron Payne made it clear who they would be looking at for inspiration against Souths.

"It's a credit to him how he has handled himself after the disappointment of missing out on the Origin team," Payne said of Webb.

"He's been one of our main leaders, leading by example.

"We would be expecting him to lead the way from the front row."

Thurston was also glowing in his praise, saying Webb had been "nothing short of an inspiration" since his Origin dumping.

He believed Webb was "probably a victim of circumstance".

While Dowling empathised with Webb, he reckoned the Cowboys hard man would have nothing to complain about if he had played well in Origin I.

"Charlie (Webb) had his chance in game one and had he taken his chance there we could be heading to Sydney 2-0 up instead of going into a decider at ANZ Stadium," Dowling wrote in The Cairns Post newspaper.

The Cowboys - already without an Origin-bound Thurston - added another to their lengthy injury list.

Anthony Watts moves from fullback to halfback for Sheppard, opening the way for under 20s No.1 Sam Bowie, a 19-year-old apprentice carpenter from Thursday Island, to make his NRL debut.

Also playing his first NRL game will be Cairns centre Brandon Boor off the bench.

Boor, 20 - who signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys just last week - bumped Ben Farrar to Queensland Cup.

"He has been outstanding in the under 20s. I just think he deserves an opportunity," Cowboys coach Ian Millward said of Boor.

Another under 20s regular, Atherton backrower Nick Slyney, earned a Cowboys recall.

"It's great to have the young guys coming in. They bring enthusiasm," Payne said.

Backrower Steve Southern (shoulder) has been cleared to play.

Souths - who welcome Craig Wing back from injury - have won their last three games against North Queensland.

The Cowboys have only won two of their seven home games - not an encouraging stat when they are trying to avoid their first wooden spoon since 2000.

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