NRL fans will be allowed to flock into Townsville’s brand new stadium from July 1, but North Queensland coach Paul Green says it won’t help his side’s defence.
The Cowboys’ coach cut a disappointed figure following Friday night’s 37-26 loss to the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium after his line-up leaked seven tries – including five on the last tackle.
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed national cabinet plans for stadiums to open at quarter capacity from July, allowing up to 10,000 people in stadiums with a capacity of 40,000 or less.
But hours later at an empty Central Coast Stadium, crowds were the furthest thing from Green’s mind after the Cowboys lost their second consecutive match.
“Crowds aren’t going to help us on our last plays,” he said bluntly when asked about the latest development in returning the NRL to normality.
Green was fuming after a loss that cost him star fullback Valentine Holmes to an ankle injury and prop Jordan McLean to a calf complaint.
The combination between halves Scott Drinkwater and Jake Clifford is still developing with Michael Morgan sidelined, but Green was most upset with the side’s defensive resilience.
Previously the Warriors had scored just four tries in four games, but they almost doubled that total in 80 minutes.
“They (the halves) had a mixed night,” Green said.
“There was some good stuff there, again, it’s a new combination.
“They’re improving and creating some opportunities there, but the most disappointing thing from our point of view is our defensive resilience particularly on the last plays.
“If the game only went for five tackles we’d be a good side.”