Lining up good mate Chris Grevsmuhl has been a season goal for North Queensland enforcer Jason Taumalolo.
But the Cowboys’ battering ram reckons South Sydney’s NRL benchmark pack will have nothing if North Queensland shut down George Burgess in Monday night’s clash.
Burgess is free to play at ANZ Stadium after beating a dangerous contact charge at the NRL judiciary.
“Chris will be the least of our problems with big Georgie there,” Taumalolo said.
“Their forward pack is the benchmark of the competition (but) we want to prove we are one of the best.
“But if we shut down George, their whole forward pack will go quiet.
“Without him, I don’t think they would have much go forward.”
Taumalolo reckons he will still have old chum Grevsmuhl in his sights.
The pair bonded playing in the Cowboys’ juniors before Townsville-bred Grevsmuhl took a chance and linked with the Rabbitohs in 2014.
It is now paying off.
Grevsmuhl played for the Indigenous All Stars before his first-grade debut this year and has been mentioned in Queensland State of Origin circles after just a handful of NRL games.
“We go back to under 15s. We have been best friends since then but it would be good to get one up on him,” Taumalolo said.
“Playing against him for the first time has been one of the things that I have looked forward to this season.
“I wish him all the best but I will put that aside on Monday night.
“There might be a few collisions.
“I hope Chris is ready. He knows how I like to play.”
North Queensland (2-3) have begun to turn their season around with back-to-back Johnathan Thurston-inspired wins.
But Taumalolo reckoned credit should also go to hooker Jake Granville.
The livewire rake has embraced his chance since his off-season move from Brisbane.
“He’s like a little pit bull in defence; he doesn’t care how big they are running at him,” Taumalolo said.
“And he adds another dimension in attack.
“He can take that sneaky run of his down the short side.
“He can add some game changing plays.”