North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Josh McGuire. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Josh McGuire. Picture: Evan Morgan

Cowboys happy to embrace banter ahead of showdown

VETERAN backrower Gavin Cooper says the Cowboys are happy to embrace the banter ahead of tomorrow night's NRL blockbuster against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

There could be a bit of extra spice in the first Queensland derby of the season as new Cowboys Josh McGuire, Jordan Kahu, and Tom Opacic experience the rivalry from the opposite side.

Kahu has made it clear he wants to show the Broncos what they lost after only joining the Cowboys last month, but McGuire has kept things quieter despite his aggressive reputation on the field.

Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough told media this week he expected some sledging and niggling tactics from his long-time team mate while Cooper said McGuire seemed fired up to face his former club.

"I know 'Moose' (McGuire) is really pumped and he likes to talk footy 24/7. He'll talk about it all day every day, but the other boys are a bit quieter," Cooper said.

"He won't add any more fuel to the fire on camera … he might send out a couple of texts, but it'll be good to see him running around down at Suncorp with our jersey on.

North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Jordan Kahu. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Jordan Kahu. Picture: Evan Morgan

"It's always good to have a little bit of banter on the field. It makes it interesting and it gives you something to laugh at after the game as well."

Cowboys coach Paul Green has tried to play down some of the hype surrounding the Broncos clash, but he was confident the likes of McGuire and Kahu would back up any talk with their performances.

"Josh has played enough games. It's not his first rodeo so he knows what he has to do," Green said.

"Sometimes it's a good thing because it shows that they're motivated to play.

"As a coach that's often your challenge trying to find some ways to motivate them so if they're motivated for whatever reason you'd hope it brings out the best in them."

North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Gavin Cooper and Francis Molo. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys training at 1300Smiles Stadium. Gavin Cooper and Francis Molo. Picture: Evan Morgan

Meanwhile, Cooper said he's eager to get back to his full workload after starting last weekend's clash with the Dragons from the bench as he manages a calf issue.

Cooper is a regular 80-minute player in the backrow, but Green has opted to ease him back into the side after the injury forced him to miss some running during the preseason.

Jason Taumalolo started in his place went on to make a whopping 301m to lead the Cowboys to a 24-12 win, but Cooper said he'd feel better watching that performance from the field.

"It wasn't good to sit there and watch. It was good to watch for the fans I suppose, but I'd much rather be out there," he said.

News Corp Australia


It’s back! $1-a-week subscription offer returns

premium_icon It’s back! $1-a-week subscription offer returns

Our cheapest deal is back offering the best journalism and rewards

Police celebrate our indigenous heritage

premium_icon Police celebrate our indigenous heritage

POLICE in Gladstone paused to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander...

Budget is keeping things cool with new truck

premium_icon Budget is keeping things cool with new truck

Budget Gladstone has a ‘cool’ new addition to its growing fleet of rentals.