Cowboys training session
Cowboys training session

Veteran backrower counting down days until ‘blockbuster’

THE cobwebs have been brushed off, now Cowboys veteran Gavin Cooper just has to wait for a Round 1 blockbuster against the Brisbane Broncos.

And it is going to be a tough wait for the 308-game veteran.

 

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While he has endured three months of pre-season training, the 11 days left before the season opener will make the past three months feel like a blink of an eye.

"It is going to be massive in Townsville. There has been a lot made of it," Cooper told Cowboys Media.

"It is funny because it is just a stadium, but it has created a lot of buzz. The boys winning over in the Nines helped as well as (the trial win) in Cairns."

Valentine Holmes of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Valentine Holmes of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Cooper enjoyed his first taste of football action in the trial loss to Melbourne at Casey Field on Saturday.

While he admonished his troops for their lack of ball handling, the second-rower was quick to point there were good lessons the side could take from the effort.

Justin ONeill of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Justin ONeill of the Cowboys is tackled during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

"(It was) good to get a few bumps and bruises. We didn't get to touch the ball much today with all the ball down. (But) there were some positive signs in among all of that," he said.

"It was a tough one. In that first half we might have completed one or two sets going in, and we couldn't get to a kick so it makes it tough especially against a good team like Melbourne.

"We have got to be a lot better holding the ball."

Michael Morgan of the Cowboys runs with the ball during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Michael Morgan of the Cowboys runs with the ball during the NRL Trial match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at Casey Fields on February 29, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Cowboys skipper Michael Morgan echoed his teammate's sentiments, as the poor ball handling in the opening half cost the side.

Morgan also played his first game in the trial, and showed signs of brilliance at first receiver, pairing well with superstar recruit Valentine Holmes.

But it was hard for the duo to make much of an impact with the visitors on the back foot for most of the clash.

"It was. We wanted to try a few things and put a few things into practice what we have been working on and sometimes they come off and sometimes they don't," he said.

 

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