Sport Rugby League Cowboys come from behind to down Canberra

Cowboys come from behind to down Canberra

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The Cowboys are remaining humble despite recent success at the Auckland Nines and a 28-22 win over Canberra in the opening round of the NRL.

Following his first competition game as head coach Paul Green said he was delighted to have started the season by securing the two points.

“You just have to keep it all in perspective, there wasn’t much in the game at all and it could have gone either way,” he said.

“We did win, but I know we can play better.”

The home side came from 16 points down to beat the Raiders in the closing minutes of Saturday night’s season opener, scoring five tries to four.

Green said the comeback had a lot to do with the performance staff at the club who ensured players were very well prepared.

“I think the team showed a lot of character to maintain their composure and come in over the top,” he said.

Co-captain Jonathan Thurston said he rallied the squad to stay in the contest and keep confident when they trailed by 16 points.

The turning point came after Thurston utilized a new rule, which allows quick taps on any infringement except 10-metre (offside) penalties, to score a try which brought the home team within six points just before the break.

Thurston said the move was not planned, rather just instinct after seeing four players with their backs turned.

“I got the ball off Ray and thought I could make some easy metres. The old boy’s still got it,” he laughed.

Debuting as Canberra’s coach, Ricky Stuart said his squad would be leaving the stadium very happy despite the result.

“We were very good in the first half defensively. We turned up for each other and structure was good there were just a couple of freak individual pieces of play,” he said.

“We beat ourselves in the second half with our stats on possession. To their credit JT capitalised on it, he was very good tonight.”

Stuart said he will take more positives out of the game than negatives.

“We spoke about it all week in the preparation that we wouldn’t be looking at the result, we would be looking at the performance toward what result we got,” he said.

“With such a young team there is going to be some areas that we work harder on because of the inexperience. We got some real positives to bounce off and the negatives can be fixed.”

Canberra captain Terry Campese said he thought the first 30 minutes was the best they had played in years.

“We have a lot of positives to take out and during the week we will work on a lot of those parts of the game that let us down,” he said.