Cowboys not hitting NRL panic button yet

Back-to-back NRL defeats might have pitched them out of the top four but North Queensland coach Paul Green isn’t reaching for the panic button.

The Cowboys’ bid for consecutive premierships has hit a wobble just out from finals with losses to Melbourne and Wests Tigers.

The 26-14 defeat to the in-form Tigers at Leichhardt Oval was particularly surprising and Green admitted it hit his charges hard.

“They know our performance last week was below par – below our standards,” Green said.

“Our boys were pretty disappointed after the game. When you’re feeling like that, next week can’t come soon enough.”

Cowboys talisman Johnathan Thurston returned from a hamstring injury in time for the Tigers clash after missing the 16-8 loss to the Storm in Townsville.

But the Queensland and Australian star struggled to make an impact in a match that was highlighted by young Tigers’ pair James Tedesco and Mitchell Moses.

Green has issued a warning to this weekend’s opponents the Sydney Roosters, arguing it’s not often Thurston delivers two quiet displays in a row.

“Probably wasn’t one of his best games but the good thing with JT is he responds pretty well,” Green said.

“If he’s disappointed in his own performance, you rarely see him put in two bad ones. Hopefully, that augurs well for us this week.”

The Roosters slumped to a heavy loss against Penrith on Monday night to continue their underwhelming 2016 season.

A former Roosters player and under-20s coach, Green says the Bondi club’s 15th position on the ladder doesn’t reflect the quality at Trent Robinson’s disposal.

“I know they’re disappointed with how this season’s panned out,” he said.

“They’re really playing for pride and they are a proud club.

“I’m sure they want to finish the season on a good note. They’ll be tough to beat down there. They’re certainly a better side than where they sit on the ladder.”

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