‘We should have won it’ Cowboys look ahead to Tigers
THE injury toll at the Cowboys rose again at the weekend with Mitch Dunn and Jordan McLean unable to finish the game against the Sea Eagles.
McLean's injury, which appeared to be a high hamstring strain, left the Cowboys one player short after the side had run out of interchanges leading into the final 10 minutes.
It meant the men in the Cowboys engine room had to dig deep to cover the missing middle, as they also looked for a final knockout blow against the Sea Eagles.
Forward Josh McGuire took on the lion share of the duties, while Jason Taumalolo also aimed up, covering almost 50 metres in the final 10 minutes alone as he pumped out his third game this season of more than 300 running metres.
Despite his extra workload, McGuire's first thoughts were for his injured mate.
"You just do your job. We are pretty lucky we have some quality middles in Jase and Bolts (Scott Bolton)," he said after the game.
"I am just hopeful that Macca is all right. We have been dealt with pretty serious injuries all year, it is part of the story for the last couple of years for this club.
"But the club keeps competing, we stay in the game even at the end there. We had every opportunity to win that game, we should have won it."
While it was a tough ask for the Cowboys to finish with only 12 men on the field, McGuire was quick to point out it was no excuse for the side's two point loss to the Sea Eagles.
The home side struggled with its execution in the second half and failed to mount any pressure on the Manly line after coughing up repeat ball.
The side also gave up a gift two points to go six ahead when Sea Eagles interchange forward Jack Gosiewski committed a professional foul in front of his posts. The forward spent 10 minutes in the sin bin but it had no adverse effect on Manly as the visitors ran in a try while he was off.
"We had every opportunity to win, we were missing a couple of players there but in that second half we only completed 11 of 19 sets. When you play a quality side with a lot of strike like Manly, we just can't do that," McGuire said.
"We probably should have taken the two when we had the opportunity, but you need to live by the sword and die by the sword.
"Win or lose that's rugby league and we need to get back to work (this week) and get ready for the Tigers (on Friday night)."
McGuire did not come out of the Manly clash unscathed with the forward facing a maximum $4500 fine after he gave centre Dylan Walker a 'facewash' while he was on the ground. McGuire was hit with a grade one contrary conduct charge by the match review committee.