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No rest in sight for Cowboys’ Thurston

Yet another slow season start is expected to see North Queensland shelve plans to rest playmaker Johnathan Thurston mid-year.


Co-captain Thurston had hoped to follow Jarryd Hayne’s lead and take a rest period during the season in a bid to be fresh for an NRL finals push.

But it all depended on the Cowboys breaking a nasty habit by hitting the ground running in 2015.

Cowboys coach Paul Green on Tuesday scoffed at the prospect of resting Thurston after North Queensland slumped to a 0-3 start following their last round 44-22 thumping in Brisbane.

“In the short term, absolutely not,” Green said of giving Thurston a break.

“I don’t even know why you are talking about that right now.

“We need to get some confidence.

“We need to play well and he is an integral part of that.”

Thurston would be forgiven for already relishing a mid-season sabbatical after looking worse for wear by the end of round two.

Thurston was left with a “shiner” following their second round loss to Newcastle, sparking Cowboys claims that their leader was illegally targeted.

Despite their horror season start, Green did not swing the axe for Monday night’s home clash with Melbourne.

In his only changes, he replaced wingers Kyle Feldt and Justin O’Neill (concussion, shoulder) with Matthew Wright and Antonio Winterstein, who returns after mourning the sudden death of his younger brother earlier this month.

“We are not hanging in the contest long enough and that has a lot to do with our defence,” Green said.

“Then you leak points and your confidence starts to suffer, one thing feeds the other.

“But you can’t forget how to play footy.

“They have to be prepared to fight harder when the game is on the line and get back to do what we do best.”


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