History shows Cowboys NRL revival on again
Posted on 03/18/19 3:07 PM
North Qld coach Paul Green wants his players to stay positive despite a 1-3 start to the NRL season.If history is anything to go by, get ready for North Queensland’s NRL stampede to start.
One of the early pre-season favourites after last year’s odds-defying run to the grand final, the Cowboys are 13th on the ladder with just one win from their opening four games.
Questions are being asked already about the all-star halves combination of Johnathan Thurston and Michael Morgan. Jason Taumalolo’s impact is apparently down.
But history suggests it’s a little too early for such criticism.
Despite reaching every finals series since 2011 – the league’s equal-longest streak – the Cowboys this decade average 10th position after the first month.
The Cowboys’ win-loss record in the opening month of competition since then is 13-19, at a rate of 40 per cent. That is in direct contrast to their 97-60 record over the rest of a season, at 61.8 per cent.
And the undefeated Warriors should beware because this week is when it always begins. The Cowboys haven’t dropped a round-five match in seven years.
“It’s important we don’t lose confidence,” Cowboys coach Paul Green said.
“We were improved in some areas (against Penrith) but we needed to improve … we can do better. We just need to fight and scratch to get a win.”
Usually unbeatable at home, North Queensland have won just 47 per cent of games at 1300SMILES Stadium in the opening month since 2011. That balloons to 78.77 per cent after round four.
They also average 18.6 points in the first month, as opposed to 23 after that. Defensively, they concede 21 points, then 17 in subsequent games.
Fox Sports Stats also show they run 30 less metres per match in the opening month, and make 30 per cent more errors.
Only once since 2011 have they had a winning record in the first four weeks, and that was last year.
They’ve gone 2-2 on three occasions and 1-3 four times – including when they came back to win the 2015 premiership.
Cowboys players were given four days off over Easter before returning on Tuesday to training ahead of their Auckland trip for the Warriors clash.
History suggests it will do the job.
“I think everyone is feeling a bit of (frustration) with how we’ve been playing,” Green said.
“As a group, we just need to fight for a win. Once we get a win under our belt, the confidence will no doubt return.”
TALE OF COWBOYS TEAMS SINCE 2011:
* Win rate – Rds 1-4: 40%, After: 61.8%
* Home record – Rds 1-4: 47%, After: 78.7%
* Points scored: Rds 1-4: 18.6, After: 23
* Points conceded: Rds 1-4: 20.9, After: 17.6
* Avg metres: Rds 1-4: 1409, After: 1442
* Avg errors: Rds 1-4: 13, After: 10