HE'S FIT: Cowboys player Jonathan Thurston says he's fully recovered from last Friday's draining win over the Broncos.
HE'S FIT: Cowboys player Jonathan Thurston says he's fully recovered from last Friday's draining win over the Broncos. DAVE HUNT

Thurston hopeful effects of Broncos win are long gone

NRL: North Queensland miracle man Johnathan Thurston says it has taken him three days to fully recover from one of the toughest rugby league games of his career against Brisbane last Friday night.

Playing on pure heart and a few pre-game injections to settle his stomach, an ill Thurston produced the match-winning play for teammate Michael Morgan to sink Brisbane's grand final dreams 26-20 in one of the finest games in 100 years.

"It's taken me a few extra days to recover,” said the Cowboys' champion, who will be on Cronulla's radar in Friday night's qualifying final.

"But things are looking up for myself. They gave us the weekend off pretty much, so yeah, feeling good.

"Hopefully it's all gone now ... Hopefully I don't pass it on to the kids,” he laughed.

Thurston, one of the fittest and most energetic players in the game, looked "gone” after 15 minutes, but just kept turning up for the Cowboys in attack and defence.

"It was one of the toughest games I've been a part of, certainly due to the fact I wasn't 100%,” he said.

"It's hard to stay in the moment when you're feeling like that, but when you look beside you and see the rest of the boys busting their guts you don't want to be the one that's letting anyone down.

"That gets you through it.”

Cowboys coach Paul Green said centre Kane Linnett was likely to return from injury against the Sharks.

"Kane has a few things he still has to tick off during the week, but it's looking likely he will be back in the team,” he said.

The focus this week for the Cowboys has been heavily on recovery and replenishing the fluids after last week's exhausting 90-minute battle with Brisbane.

"It's been a physical recovery but we can start the mental preparation now for what the Sharks will throw at us,” Green said.

World-class prop Matt Scott has been in the wars lately with injuries, including playing the past few games with a painful back.

"Look, he is fine. He will deal with it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. He is a pretty tough bloke and he will be okay,” Greeen said.

The Sharks are expected to toss up a few high balls at Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote who had a rare off night last week against Brisbane.

But the Cowboys will return serve with their big forwards expected to run at Sharks halfback Chad Townsend who was "hooked” by coach Shane Flanagan against the Raiders when the pressure got the better of him.

The Sharks may target Coote but the Cowboys will do the same to Townsend.



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