General Cowboys blame over-zealous trainer for form slump.

sebastian_old

Guest
League
League: Cowboys blame over-zealous trainer for form slump

1.00pm Friday August 11, 2006


A potential player revolt, rumours of a club sex scandal and a horror injury toll -- something gives the impression that all's not well at a certain National Rugby League (NRL) club.

The North Queensland Cowboys travelled to Auckland this week as just a shadow of their high-flying selves, when they won their first six matches of 2006 and led the competition.

Since the State of Origin series, in which their coach Graham Murray was in charge of New South Wales, the Cowboys have lost nine of their last 11 matches including a 14-54 hiding by the Bulldogs last weekend.

They face the New Zealand Warriors tomorrow in 10th place, two points outside the top-eight, with a loss at Mt Smart Stadium probably spelling the end of their season.

Brisbane's Courier Mail this week revealed growing unrest at the Townsville-based club over a rigorous training regimen under hard-nosed conditioning coach Billy Johnstone, which the players believe is killing their finals chances.

They reportedly took their concerns to Murray after Saturday's hiding from the Bulldogs, led by senior players Mitchell Sargent, Matt Sing and Justin Smith.

"Johnstone will be touching us up again... I don't know if that's the way we should be going," Sargent was quoted as saying.

"I think we should freshen up. It's 22 rounds into the year. We're obviously fit enough.

"I just think we need to concentrate on where we are going wrong rather than getting touched up.

"Physically I'm fatigued. It's really hard to take."

Murray acknowledged the players' concerns this week but said the training sessions were similar to those throughout his five years at the club.

He admitted some of his troops had become "tired and fatigued" by the long season but denied they were being trained too hard by Johnstone.

"The players here have never been reluctant to talk to the coaches and I'm quite comfortable with where we sit and where Billy's role is," Murray said.

"I think we're pretty open-minded. We listen to the players but at the same time you can't go with everything they ask.

"They've got to train hard. That's the basic requirement for rugby league professionals."

Rumours circulating about an alleged affair between a player and his teammate's wife have coincided with the Cowboys' form slump, leading star playmaker Johnathan Thurston to last month issue a public statement strongly denying the rumours.

Thurston is one player out of tomorrow's match with a knee injury, with Murray handing the captaincy to halfback Aaron Payne, 23.

Regular skipper Travis Norton is also out with a shoulder injury, while former Junior Kiwis forward Robert Tanielu is out for the season with a neck injury.

Others sidelined include Paul Bowman (neck), Josh Hannay (back) and Ty Williams (knee).

Murray promoted winger Kneel Sweeney and utility Rod Jensen from the Queensland Cup and included Clint Amos on a five-man interchange bench this week.

* NZ Warriors vs North Queensland Cowboys, Mt Smart Stadium, 7.30pm Saturday

- NZPA
 

commonsense_old

Guest
funny thing is the players were full praising billy when they were in form and winning their games.
when things go right you are the hero, when things go sour your are the culprit.

reminds me of sione faumuina or clinton toopi's crazy offloads.
 

sebastian_old

Guest
commonsense said:
funny thing is the players were full praising billy when they were in form and winning their games.
when things go right you are the hero, when things go sour your are the culprit.

reminds me of sione faumuina or clinton toopi's crazy offloads.

Know that you mention it, that is actuall pretty funny, when they were winning they were saying it was due to how good Billy's training was, now its his fault there losing games!! Thats so childish to blame the poor trainer for your form, for god's sake grow up!! What are going to say if they start winning, that hes a good trainer again, this whole mess has changed my neutral view on the cowboys. I'm happy for my Billy hes leaving next year.
 

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