Cowboys count cost of Thurston NRL charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys count cost of Thurston NRL charge

Laine Clark 24/06/2011 06:11:43 PM Comments (0)

Defending Johnathan Thurston's controversial contrary conduct charge has come "at a price", North Queensland NRL coach Neil Henry says.

Still shaking his head over Thurston being hauled before the Judiciary for running into a referee, Henry said the case has disrupted the Cowboys' preparation for Sunday's clash in Penrith.

But Henry also revealed Thurston's recovery from an ankle complaint had been hampered by travelling to Sydney to fight the charge.

Thurston was facing a two-match ban for running into referee Matt Cecchin in last Saturday's win over the Warriors.

The 28-year-old was cleared to play Penrith and in the State of Origin decider on July 6 when the panel ruled the collision was unintentional.

"The team were as amazed as most people about the charge initially. It was a relief when Johnathan was available to play (but) it has come at a price," Henry said on Friday.

"It's been a bit of an ordeal."

Henry said Thurston missed out on almost three days of physio on his ankle complaint - also suffered against the Warriors - due to the Judiciary hearing.

"It took him away two-and-a-half days so he couldn't get physio on the slight ankle injury from the previous game," he said.

"He would have been in better hands up here.

"Sitting in a plane for a few hours doesn't help those sorts of injuries.

"When he got off the plane, it was slightly swollen - but he is in no doubt."

Damaging Cowboys' backrower Tariq Sims copped a two-game ban after being found guilty of a grade-two high-tackle charge.

"There is no doubt Johnathan's case and Tariq's has disrupted training," Henry said.

"He (Sims) is disappointed - that's not his go, that type of tackle.

"He got in an unfortunate position and I didn't think he did too much wrong, but we will cop it and move on."

Henry said the judiciary hearing had also eaten into the time spent on researching Penrith.

But he didn't have to delve too deep to know the Panthers would be fired up.

Former assistant Steve Georgallis will mark his first game as Penrith head coach against North Queensland after taking over the reins from Matthew Elliott.

"We've done a bit of work on Penrith, probably not as much as we normally would have done," Henry said.

"It will be interesting to see how the team (Penrith) reacts.

"They will certainly be fired up for a game - we expect the unexpected.

"But we are playing some pretty good footy at the moment."

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