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Cowboys eye NRL finals after Newcastle win

The fairytale charge to a finals campaign continues for the North Queensland Cowboys who have appeared to turn their troublesome season around.
Cowboys eye NRL finals after Newcastle win
by AAP

By Matthew Dunn

TOWNSVILLE, Aug 25 AAP - The fairytale charge to a finals campaign continues for the North Queensland Cowboys who have appeared to turn their troublesome season around.

A 26-6 win over Newcastle in Townsville on Saturday night means the club has now taken their winning streak to four games, launching them into the eight.

But they can't rest easy, having to win their final two games against Cronulla (away) and West Tigers (home) to cement their position.

The Cowboys will be hoping a suspected broken jaw to hooker Ray Thompson won't derail their momentum.

Thompson was carried from the field on a stretcher after a controversial shoulder charge in the 65th minute that saw Knights second-rower Kane Snowden sent off.

Coach Neil Henry said that with Thompson out the team would miss his work rate.

"He's certainly been a big part of our momentum through the middle," he said.

Henry is remaining optimistic, as his team has proved they can remain resilient despite changes to the squad from injury.

This was evident in Saturday night's game when debutant Wayne Ulugia was brought in to replace injured winger Kyle Feldt, who himself, only debuted three games earlier.

"It's great we've had a couple of young kids now, Kyle Feldt stepped up straight away and Wayne got his opportunity on the back of Feldt's injury and he stepped up," said Henry.

"It vindicates a bit of a production line there for kids that have come through our system and it's great that they have stepped up and handled it. I think certainly that's great for the team.

"He's (Ulugia) trained well and he's waited a long time for his opportunity too. It's good that he's able to get out there with some confidence.

"He aimed up and that's what we expect."

In terms of the Cowboys run home, Henry said they do not want to drop a game but won't be getting complacent.

"We've got no reason to be comfortable where we are," he said.

Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott echoed the sentiments.

"It's still a long way to go and I don't think any of us are taking the run home lightly, we've got a lot of work to do in front of us," he said.


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