Kiwi Test star Jason Taumalolo admits he has a point to prove in North Queensland’s sudden-death NRL semi-final against Brisbane on Friday night after being charged with wilful damage.
Taumalolo and Tautau Moga were slapped with $2500 fines by the Cowboys on Monday after they were among five North Queensland players allegedly caught throwing eggs at vehicles in Townsville last week.
All five players face court next month.
“I owe it to the boys,” said Taumalolo on Tuesday.
Just days after being charged, the New Zealand wrecking ball made little impact in defending champion North Queensland’s 16-10 opening finals loss in Melbourne last weekend, amassing 86m from eight runs.
“I need to put in a better performance. I thought I owed them one last week and didn’t come up with the goods,” Taumalolo said.
“My main focus is turning up on Friday night and making sure it doesn’t happen again.”
The 23 year old admitted he was distracted against the Storm by the off field incident – a mistake he vowed not to repeat in the NRL grand final re-match in Townsville.
“I am not going to lie, it kind of got to me in the end,” he said.
“It obviously affected my performance on the weekend, something I was pretty disappointed about.
“I didn’t help myself with the stupid things I did.
“It’s been a long couple of days. Today is all about moving on and focusing on Friday night.”
Cowboys coach Paul Green was confident Taumalolo had put the incident behind him.
“I think so, we have dealt with it. It’s last week’s news. As a club we have moved on,” he said.
“With all the distractions last week I think he was a bit disappointed and felt that he let the team down a little bit.
“I would say he will bounce back with a big game on Friday night.”
Meanwhile, the Cowboys are sweating on centre Kane Linnett (hamstring) before finalising their team on Tuesday afternoon.