North Queensland coach Paul Green hasn’t given up hope of finishing in the all-important NRL top four despite throwing away a golden opportunity against the Sydney Roosters.
The Cowboys missed their shot at leapfrogging both the Roosters and Brisbane into the top quarter of the ladder but blew a 12-point lead on Saturday night.
Instead they could fall back to sixth by the end of the round, however Green insists the remaining five matches of the regular season offer enough time to move up the standings.
“It’s nice to finish top-four, it makes it easier for you in the finals,” Green said post-game.
“I still think there’s plenty of footy to be played yet. I still think we’ll get an opportunity to be in there at some stage, destiny’s still in our hands in some respects.
“Disappointed though, we definitely had an opportunity there tonight.”
Green’s side looked set to extend their winning streak to five when they led 16-4 at halftime at Allianz Stadium, but were dominated in the second period and failed to add to their tally.
They didn’t have a second-half play in the Roosters’ 20-metre zone until the 71st minute.
“There was just that period through the second half where physically they just got on top and we hung in there well but just couldn’t quite hang in there long enough,” Green said.
“Once they they got that try and got another try, we just physically couldn’t get ourselves back into the game quick enough.
“Our completion rate was pretty disappointing, nine from 14 in the second half compared to their 21 from 21 – that makes it pretty hard.”
The challenge gets tougher for the Cowboys next week with a match against ladder leaders Melbourne, before finishing the year against Penrith, Cronulla, Wests Tigers and Brisbane.