Perfect chance to down Storm: Thurston - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Perfect chance to down Storm: Thurston

By Laine Clark 30/04/2010 08:44:42 PM Comments (0)

A Storm may be brewing in Townsville but North Queensland captain Johnathan Thurston reckons the Cowboys won't get a better chance to defeat Melbourne than on Saturday night.

The Melbourne Storm vented their frustration over the salary cap scandal by thrashing the Warriors last round.

And there is every indication that there will be more of the same at Dairy Farmers Stadium this weekend.

The Storm team received a fresh blow this week when they ruled out attempting to overturn their NRL premiership points ban for 2010 following talks with owners News Limited and the players' association.

Yet Thurston firmly believed the Cowboys had a golden opportunity to defeat Melbourne for the first time since 2006.

"They (Melbourne) had a lot to play for last week - their emotions were riding high," Thurston said.

"It will be a little bit different this week, (being) the second week.

"If there's any chance of knocking them off, it will be on Saturday night."

While a brave bid by inspirational hooker Aaron Payne (ankle) to return from injury fell through on Friday, the Cowboys sounded confident of a major upset.

Statistics say they shouldn't be - apart from the Cowboys' four-year drought against the Storm, Melbourne have won their last three games in Townsville.

And the Storm are hoping to welcome back Greg Inglis (ankle).

Melbourne may be fired up, but Cowboys coach Neil Henry said his team had to match their desperation in order to turn their season around.

"Time will tell how they (Melbourne) are up for a game," he said.

"They played with a lot of pride and passion against the Warriors, but we need to be desperate ourselves - we need to match that enthusiasm and intensity."

The 11th-placed Cowboys have been their own worst enemies, slumping to a 2-5 season record following last round's mistake-riddled defeat to Parramatta - their second straight home loss.

"It has got to the stage where we need to win some games," Henry said.

"We are away for two weeks after this so it would be good to get some momentum.

"And we've got rep football around the corner and that will take its toll as well.

"It's an important game for us in the context of the season - unless we get a couple of wins soon it will be desperate times ahead.

"We are hoping to kick-start the season."

Henry reckons his background as Queensland assistant coach would not help stop Maroons stars Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.

But he did see young backs Willie Isa and Matt Duffie as a potential chink in the Storm armour.

"They have got some inexperienced players on their right edge in particular, maybe we can target that through Willie Tonga," Henry said.

"Hopefully we can put some pressure on their forwards and find some space."

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