News | Sports
26 Jun 2017 3:31
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Olympic Games
  • Ski Report
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • Crime.co.nz
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > Sports

    O'Neill doesn't need Test talk: Cowboys

    North Queensland coach Paul Green says Test speculation is the last thing Cowboys centre Justin O'Neill needs in his NRL injury comeback.


    A Test jersey might be on the line but North Queensland coach Paul Green hopes the trans-Tasman clash is the last thing on centre Justin O'Neill's mind in Saturday's NRL clash with Newcastle.

    Four Nations call-up O'Neill will line up for what has been billed as a Test centre playoff with Knights strike weapon Dane Gagai, ahead of Australia's May 5 clash with New Zealand in Canberra.

    However, Green says Test speculation is the last thing O'Neill needs after a horror return last round from a hamstring injury.

    Asked if O'Neill had Test selection in the back of his mind, Green said: "Hopefully not. Hopefully, all that is in their mind is doing a good job for our team."

    Green admitted even he was surprised by how rusty O'Neill was in his nightmare comeback match.

    O'Neill was caught out in defence against St George Illawarra, costing two first-half tries as opposite number Tim Lafai ran amok in the Dragons' 28-22 win.

    His second half was marred by uncharacteristic handling errors.

    It was not a good look as Test selectors mulled over a reshuffled Kangaroos backline after Greg Inglis's knee injury.

    The Cowboys' coach backed O'Neill to bounce back against the Knights.

    "Absolutely - last week was his first game back after being out for a fair while so you would expect him to be a little bit rusty," Green said.

    "Probably not as rusty as he was, but he's fine.

    "I have no doubt he will bounce back."

    It won't be just O'Neill out for redemption on Saturday.

    Green said the whole team would be out to make amends for their disappointing last-round defensive effort against the Dragons.

    North Queensland have conceded five tries in three of their past four matches.

    Last year, the Cowboys conceded five tries in a game just twice for the season.

    "You never like losing but we took some good lessons out of that and I think we will be better for it," Green said.

    He claimed Newcastle's shock decision to drop Knights captain and ex-NSW halfback Trent Hodkinson for their clash did not change their plans.

    "He (Hodkinson) has won State of Origins - I am sure he will be working hard to get back into the team," Green said.

    The Cowboys coach said Hodkinson's replacement - five-game rookie Jaelen Feeney - would be tested.

    "Our back-rowers will test any halves that we play against," he said.

    "But we would like to be testing them right across the park."

    Newcastle have lost 24 of their past 25 games, including their past five.

    COWBOYS V KNIGHTS:

    * North Queensland have won seven of their past 10 matches against Newcastle

    * The Cowboys have lost 11 of their past 13 games without Johnathan Thurston, including the past four

    * The Knights have lost 16 straight away games since round 26 in 2015, the equal second-longest streak in the NRL era


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


     Other Sports News
     25 Jun: Cherry-Evans makes Origin statement
     25 Jun: Barrett has no qualms with NZ No.15 role
     25 Jun: Lions tactics likely to change: Hansen
     25 Jun: Dragons v Knights, Sharks v Sea Eagles: NRL round 16 live scores, stats and commentary
     25 Jun: Pulse storm into netball premiership final
     25 Jun: Hurricanes boosted by All Blacks
     25 Jun: Lee seventh at Connecticut PGA tournament
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    Barrett has no qualms with NZ No.15 role More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    Moeraki Boulders gets speed control More...



     Today's News

    Business:
    Moeraki Boulders gets speed control 21:57

    Rugby League:
    Cherry-Evans makes Origin statement 21:47

    Rugby:
    Barrett has no qualms with NZ No.15 role 18:57

    Rugby:
    Lions tactics likely to change: Hansen 18:37

    Living & Travel:
    Pakistan oil tanker fire kills more than 120 as onlookers rush to gather leaking fuel 18:27

    Rugby League:
    Dragons v Knights, Sharks v Sea Eagles: NRL round 16 live scores, stats and commentary 18:17

    Accident and Emergency:
    One killed in Otago plane crash 18:07

    Law and Order:
    Bay of Plenty fisherman dies 18:07

    Business:
    Posties' union delivers NZ Post broadside 17:27

    Entertainment:
    Gigi Hadid has posted a sweet birthday tribute to her brother Anwar 16:57


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2017 New Zealand City Ltd