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Jason Taumalolo and Coen Hess are the future of the Cowboys forwards
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NORTH Queensland’s thrilling derby win against the Broncos came at a cost with Test prop Matt Scott suffering a potentially season-ending knee injury.

Cowboys medical staff were fearing Scott had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during North Queensland’s 21-20 win against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Scott limped off during the second half of the golden-point epic and did not return to the field.

The Cowboys also lost fullback Lachlan Coote to a calf injury and Antonio Winterstein to a suspected broken wrist.

“The win’s come at a cost,” coach Paul Green said.

“We want to focus more on the game on this stage.

Matt Scott’s season could be over.

“Until we have scans we won’t be able to confirm that (Scott has injured jis ACL). He’s definitely got a knee issue.

“Coote strained his calf.”

If Scott is ruled out for the season it would be a major blow for a Cowboys side which lost experienced props James Tamou (Penrith) and Ben Hannant (retired) during the off-season.

Wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo is also facing an anxious wait following a stinging shoulder charge on Alex Glenn.

The on-field referees did not place the reigning Dally M Medal winner on report, however the tackle is sure to come under scrutiny by the NRL’s match review committee.

If Taumalolo is hit with a grade one charge he could be facing two weeks on the sidelines which would be a crushing blow for the Cowboys, especially with Scott sidelined.

Green said he was not concerned about Taumalolo’s tackle.

“He had his arm separated (from his body),” Green said.

Taumalolo has backed up his sensational 2016 season with hot form to start the year.

He ran for a stunning 289m in North Queensland’s season-opening win against Canberra last week and backed it up with 179m in a grinding contest last night, producing two big runs for Johnathan Thurston to win the game.

 

Taumalolo will be forced to bear an even bigger load.

While Taumalolo was sensational again, Coen Hess emerged as a State of Origin bolter following a sizzling start to the season which has thrust him into Queensland contention.

The 20-year-old forward has only played 11 NRL games, but has produced a hot start to 2017 to rocket into Origin discussions and was one of North Queensland’s best.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters was in the stadium as Hess scored a sublime try to open North Queensland’s account, carrying three Broncos defenders across the line before brushing them off with brute strength.

The 110kg weapon did similar last week in the Cowboys’ season-opening win against the Raiders in Townsville.

“He was outstanding,” Green said of Hess.

“The try he scored, I don’t know if too many guys could have scored that.

“He’s growing and developing each week.”

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