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Henry considering Cowboys changes

North Queensland coach Neil Henry has refused to rule out up to three key late changes to his NRL line-up to play Penrith in Townsville on Saturday night.
Henry considering Cowboys changes
by AAP

By Wayne Heming

BRISBANE, April 3 AAP - North Queensland coach Neil Henry has refused to rule out up to three key late changes to his NRL line-up to play Penrith in Townsville on Saturday night.

Back at home following a disappointing trip to New Zealand, the Cowboys coach foreshadowed a number of possible late changes after he watches video of several players involved in Queensland Cup games over the weekend.

Among the pre-season favourites, the Cowboys are a lowly 14th on the ladder after a win and three consecutive losses and Henry admitted they were "getting desperate" for some premiership points.

Robert Lui's push for a return to the halfback role was helped by his strong game for the unbeaten Northern Pride in Queensland Cup and a quiet game by incumbent Michael Morgan in the 20-18 loss to the Warriors in Auckland on Monday.

"We're forced to name a side really early and we still haven't viewed our Q-Cup (Queensland Cup) tapes yet," said Henry.

"Robert Lui played really well apparently, Anthony Mitchell was good and Ashton Sims was the best on the field for the (Mackay) Cutters against Wynnum.

"I have to look at that and there might be some changes.

"I wouldn't discount Robert."

Henry said Sims would come into consideration for a bench spot while he hadn't settled on his dummy half after Englishman Robert Moore's mixed bag against the Warriors.

Winger Ash Graham could also come into contention if he satisfies Henry he is fully recovered from a rib injury.

"I think he (Moore) was better defensively but we were a little haphazard with our attack at times. It's a hard one," admitted Henry.

"Rory Kostjasyn fitted in well there (dummy half) and I'll have to see how Anthony Mitchell went on the weekend."

One area Henry was happy with in the clash with the Warriors was the effort of representative props Matt Scott and James Tamou, who were both quiet the previous week against Newcastle.

"I was very happy with our effort through the middle third," he said.

"I thought Matt Scott and Jimmy Tamou in particular up front really stepped it up from the previous week.

"They got back to getting us good momentum and good metres around the ruck.

"We need to take more advantage of that work."

Henry said the Cowboys were "still a good footy team" but needed to start winning.

"I wouldn't say we need it (win) for confidence because we can play football," he said.

"It's early days but we can't keep saying that and we can't drop any more games."


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