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15 Dec 2017 11:36
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Cowboys set for NRL bounce back: Lowe

    North Queensland are happy with the way they are playing despite two losses going into Saturday night's clash with Penrith.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Their recent form suggests otherwise but North Queensland back-rower Ethan Lowe insists Penrith will face an improved Cowboys side under stand-in captain Michael Morgan in Saturday night's NRL clash.

    The last time they met, the Cowboys took their first step without an injured Johnathan Thurston to squeeze out a two-point win in late June.

    But after suffering two straight losses, Lowe believed desperate top-eight aspirants the Panthers would face a better Cowboys outfit with Morgan as skipper at Pepper Stadium.

    Halfback Morgan was handed the reins after another stand-in - back-rower Gavin Cooper - suffered a calf injury in last week's loss to Melbourne.

    The Cowboys sparked a four-game winning run with the 14-12 round 16 win against Penrith, their first match without Thurston after he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in Queensland's State of Origin game two triumph.

    Lowe believed they could spark a similar run before the finals against Penrith with Morgan calling the shots.

    "That (round 16 game) was our first match without Johnno and our attack was a bit off at times," Lowe said.

    "But since then, with Morgs running the show, we've been more cohesive and had better structure which are things that come with time when you're looking to build new combinations.

    "We're confident and although we've been hit with injuries, we know we are playing well and we look forward to taking on the Panthers again."

    Sixth-placed North Queensland are hoping to keep their top-four hopes alive against the fast-finishing Panthers.

    Eighth-placed Penrith have won five of their past six games.

    Lowe said Morgan had revelled in his new captaincy role after Cooper joined flyer Antonio Winterstein (hamstring) on the Cowboys' injury list with the finals on the horizon.

    "Morgs stepped up in the role when Coops went off last week - he's got plenty of leadership qualities in him," he said.

    Lowe believed they also had a ready-made back-row starting replacement for Cooper in Queensland State of Origin bench forward Coen Hess.


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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