Cowboys' Tamou, Leary get one-week bans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys' Tamou, Leary get one-week bans

By Laine Clark 12/04/2011 07:10:30 PM Comments (0)

Tough new rules brought in after North Queensland's disastrous 2010 NRL season claimed their first victims on Tuesday.

And the timing could not have been worse.

Reeling after backrower Gavin Cooper accepted a one-match ban for a dangerous throw, the Cowboys pack was further depleted when the powerful James Tamou was suspended for a game along with Blake Leary for breaking team alcohol rules.

Cowboys football manager Peter Parr admitted it was a massive blow ahead of Saturday night's home clash with a giant Canberra outfit.

But he made no apologies after confirming Leary and Tamou broke a team rule that ensures alcohol must not be consumed during a playing week.

"It's a blow to the team - we are coming up against a team that has a big forward pack," Parr said.

"We have lost Gavin Cooper to suspension and now to lose James on top of that means the assignment is even more difficult.

"But at the end of the day everyone in this club knows we are not going to compromise our standards for anyone and that's just the way it is.

"We are very determined as a group to turn up and beat Canberra without James this weekend."

Tamou and Leary are the first to slip up after the Cowboys vowed to clean up their act - on and off the field - following a shocking 2010.

After only being denied the wooden spoon by the cap-rorting Melbourne Storm, the Cowboys made more headlines for the wrong reasons when captain Johnathan Thurston was arrested on a public nuisance charge in Brisbane in September.

The Test and Queensland Origin No.7 had also been charged with public drunkenness after being arrested outside his Townsville apartment semi-naked in January 2008.

"We are trying to improve our standards, on and off the field," Parr said on Tuesday.

"At the end of last year we were at a crossroads and we made many tough decisions around the playing group.

"They (Tamou, Leary) knew the rules and they also knew the consequences.

"When things are black and white and no grey areas when you are trying to improve your standards, I think that is a good thing for everyone."

Asked if Tamou and Leary's indiscretion undid the Cowboys' good work this season, Parr said: "It might tarnish it if we didn't act on it.

"The fact that we have acted on it and quickly, transparently ... I don't see how that can tarnish the image of your club."

But Parr added: "I have to say these two young men are guilty of breaking team rules and protocol.

"We have not had feedback that their behaviour was inappropriate - we need to stress that."

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