With the COVID-19 situation in Sydney worsening the NRL has relocated all its New South Wales based clubs to Queensland, with three hubs in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Despite outstanding facilities, the Townsville base of the North Queensland Cowboys wasn’t used as a hub.
However, according to Cowboys five-eighth Scott Drinkwater the team see this as an advantage and want to use next month of staying in Queensland to try and get their season back on track.
“We get to keep it for ourselves and keep it just the Cowboys up here,” he said at a press conference on Monday.
“We definitely have to start winning some games.
“You probably could say it is make or break for our season in the next three to four weeks coming up.”
Since the bye, the Cowboys have only played one of the four games at home, and now with back-to-back home games and a further two in Southeast Queensland, Drinkwater is looking forward to playing in front of the home fans again.
“It’s going to be good; we always love playing up here,” he said.
“This year we have been pretty good at home, we lost a couple at the start and the last one to Cronulla but apart from that we have been pretty good as of late at home.
“We’re looking forward to playing in front of our fans and them getting behind us and cheer us on.”
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It’s been a tough month for the Cowboys who were sitting 7th on the ladder heading into the bye, with finals a real possibility.
But with four disappointing losses in a row, Drinkwater labelled the past month as “embarrassing”.
“It’s just coming down to a lot of different moments in games,” he said.
“I know we’re working hard, and we want to win, and we want to get better and we’re trying, it’s just that right now nothing is getting put into place on the field.”
Drinkwater is aware that a month with less travel will not automatically result in wins considering they are facing some very strong opposition.
The Cowboys face the Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Titans over the next month.
“The two home games are definelty going to be big for us, but it’s not going to come easy were coming up against two of the top teams in the competition,” he said.
“Home games aren’t going to make us win these games, it’s about playing for the full 80 and competing hard and trying to win.
“We can’t look too much into where we are playing it’s more about what happens on the field.”