World Club Challenge a risk for Cowboys

Johnathan Thurston’s definitely keen. So is Matt Scott.

But will focusing on winning the World Club Challenge hamper North Queensland’s NRL title defence?

Manly fans can provide a stark warning to the Cowboys about the dangers of worrying too much about the one-off clash between the NRL and Super League champions.

The Sea Eagles may have won the title in 2009, but then came home to begin their NRL campaign with four straight losses.

In fact no Australian winner of the competition since 2009 has made it to a grand final that season.

The 2014 effort of the Sydney Roosters where they reached the preliminary final is as good as it gets for a World Club Challenge winner from Down Under.

A good start after a World Club Challenge also seems to mean little with both South Sydney (2015) and St George Illawarra (2011) seeming to run out of puff in the back of their NRL title defences.

Regardless of the history the Cowboys are clearly keen on proving themselves in a match which for many of their squad, including superstar Thurston, is a new challenge.

Only Justin O’Neill (Melbourne, 2013) and Ben Hannant (Brisbane 2007) have played in the annual fixture before and prop Matt Scott says that’s a main factor behind the Cowboys’ drive to do well.

“This is all new ground for us. It’s very exciting and we’re all looking forward to it,” Scott said.

“It’s a great experience for us. We’ve got a relatively young side. It’s a great spectacle and should be a tough game.

“We’ve been training really well and should have the same side that played in the grand final. There’s no reason why we can’t go over there and be successful.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!