Cowboys find their feet ahead of WCC

Simply finding a suitable training ground has proved a battle for North Queensland ahead of their World Club Challenge clash with Leeds.

But Cowboys assistant coach David Furner insists the NRL defending champions are determined to “put another trophy in the cabinet” on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

North Queensland have been forced to retreat to a modified hockey ground in order to find solid ground to train on at their rain-soaked Leeds base ahead of the WCC showdown.

Furner said it was their best training session yet since lobbing in the UK, giving them a shot in the arm ahead of a match that will decide the world’s best club.

“It is about finding grounds, they are pretty waterlogged at the moment,” Furner said of their training regime.

“(But) we’ve earned the right to play in this game.

“We are trying to put another trophy in the cabinet.

“It’s not a trial game for us.”

The Cowboys may have finally found their feet in the UK – literally – but it seems the cold weather is still something they are getting used to.

“It was better than the muddy fields that are normally over here,” Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan said of the hockey field.

“The other day we had a run around on a fairly lumpy wet field, it was a good change.

“It was good to have a run around properly and play a bit of footy as well, not just a little muck around session.

“(But) it was cold, the hands were probably the hardest thing to warm up.”

The Cowboys will ramp up their preparation with an opposed session against English Super League club Salford, boasting former North Queensland pivot Robert Lui on Friday (AEDT).

Lui was thrown a lifeline by Salford after being cut by the Cowboys last year.

He has hit the ground running, earning man-of-the-match honours after his two-try heroics in Salford’s shock 44-10 win over St Helens last week.

“It will be good to see Robbie. It was good to see him go well, he got a couple of tries,” Morgan said.

“Looks like he’s enjoying it over here. It will be good to catch up with him tomorrow.”

Lui hinted the cold rather than Leeds would provide the biggest obstacle for North Queensland’s match-winner Johnathan Thurston.

“Johnathan Thurston is one of the best players in the world but he won’t be used to this weather,” Lui told The Daily Star newspaper.

“It is 40 degrees back home in Queensland and they are cooking eggs on the side of the pool.”

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