As he came off following his first stint on the field during North Queensland’s Monday night clash with Melbourne in Townsville James Tamou had had enough.
Enough of being scared. Enough of doubting whether his neck could handle the brutal life of an NRL prop.
Instead the NSW and Australia representative took in mind the words of Cowboys’ coach Paul Green and decided to get back to doing what made him one of the game’s most damaging players during his stellar 2012 campaign.
“Coming off from my first stint I wasn’t too happy with how I was going,” Tamou told reporters on Thursday.
“The whole week leading up to the game Greenie has been talking to me and just saying `get it into your head you’re 115kgs, you’re going to be hard to stop, just run straight and skittle blokes’.
“I knew that had to be done for me to contribute to the team.”
In that second half Tamou showed the first signs since undergoing surgery on his damaged neck in the off-season that he can get back to his barnstorming best.
Time and again the 26-year-old battered Melbourne’s defensive line, providing the go-forward the Cowboys needed to secure a thrilling come-from-behind 18-17 golden point win.
Tamou said coming through the game unscathed and full of confidence could be the key to rediscovering his rampaging best.
“I think personally I needed that game, or that feeling, just for my confidence especially after major surgery,” he said.
“It’s just, to come off feeling pretty good with my body and for the way I contribute for the team, it’s a good feeling. Good to take into another Monday night game down in Penrith.”
Tamou’s display has reignited the possibility of the New Zealand-born star retaining his spot in the NSW line-up though the man himself says keeping hold of his Blues jersey is a long way off.
“I’m just slowly getting bit-by-bit out of it,” Tamou said.
“Origin will likely come a bit more down the road, I’m just trying to get more minutes out and just trying to play good footy.
“It’ll be in the back of my mind but right now just focused on myself.”
Reports had also emerged that Tamou was seeking a release from his deal with the Cowboys, in a bid to start afresh somewhere else.
Reports that are absolute rubbish in the words of the man himself.
“No idea. Obviously some people seem to know more than I do about my life,” he said.