Cowboys bank on Thurston to end losses - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys bank on Thurston to end losses

By Ben Galvin 10/07/2008 03:47:36 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Ian Millward is be hoping the return of Johnathan Thurston can prove the catalyst for his side breaking a nine-game NRL losing streak against the Warriors on Saturday.

Thurston, the player of the series in Queensland's State of Origin triumph, returns to skipper the struggling side at Mt Smart Stadium.

His return is one of a host of changes, with Anthony Watts moving to five-eighth and Mark Henry to fullback with Dayne Weston, Sam Faust and Ben Farrar all added to the bench.

The addition of the game's best halfback couldn't have come at a better time for the Cowboys, who are already missing Carl Webb, Matt Scott, Jacob Lillyman, Justin Smith to injury and Luke O'Donnell and Travis Burns to suspension.

"We really welcome back JT," Millward said.

"His kicking game will be really instrumental for us.

"We have got to worry about accountability as a team and as individuals and if we get that right, we will get a win."

Millward praised the way his side had returned to the training paddock but warned of the danger posed by the huge Warriors' pack.

"Training has been fantastic, the last few sessions have been really positive with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, he said."

"It is a massive test, the last game we probably got run down a little bit in the forwards and it is an area we have got to be stronger in."

The Warriors will be high on confidence following their last start win over the Wests Tigers and the return of stars Steve Price and Brent Tate from Origin duty.

North Queensland's shining light of 2008, Ray Cashmere, said shutting down Price would be the key to the Cowboys' understrength pack getting on top.

"Steve Price, he is the benchmark as far as I am concerned for front rowers you always look forward to playing against him," Cashmere said.

"Steve will be pretty fired up after a successful Origin campaign and he will be playing pretty confident.

"It should be a good challenge.

"Our defence has to tighten up and we will try a few little things we have kept up our sleeve but we have to work hard and do the little things right."

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