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Selection headache for Cowboys

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Update: 11:00AM North Queensland's Johnathan Thurston wore a shoulder from Brisbane's Dale Copley on Friday night but it will be his coach who has the biggest headache in the coming week.

So good were his troops in their 27-14 win over the Broncos in Townsville, that coach Paul Green will have a hard time squeezing returning players into the side.

The Cowboys were sublime against Brisbane, notching their first back-to-back wins of 2014, largely due to 14 straight completions to start the match and a huge performance from co-captain Matthew Scott who racked up 235 metres.

It was also a victory constructed without Queensland and Australian five-eighth Thurston for a 15-minute period in the first half after he was taken from the field under the NRL's new concussion rule.

Ray Thompson (knee) and Tariq Sims (lower leg) were both late scratchings for the Cowboys and in their absence debutant Cameron King, third-gamer Ethan Lowe and recalled halfback Robert Lui all shone.

With both players expected to be back to full fitness in time for this Saturday's match against the Roosters, it will give Green plenty to think about this week.

"It's a nice headache to have," Green said.

"It was pleasing to see that the guys who did take their spots in the team did their job.

"I thought Rob Lui did a great job tonight which I was really happy (with)."

The chance to blood new players and also to push Scott Bolton into a starting role could pay dividends in the long run for the Cowboys, too, with Origin looming and Thurston and props Scott and James Tamou near certainties to be missing for their respective states.

Scott said that hadn't been discussed yet, but he was looking forward to seeing what young players such as Lowe could do in their absence.

"With guys like Robbie Lui, Cameron King coming into the side, I think we've got enough depth there to cover the positions," the Australian and Queensland prop said.

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin lamented a slow start as the main cause for the loss.

"We were chasing the game all night," he said.

"We did give ourselves a chance a couple of times there, but when it's a tight game and you give away 14 (points) you're always going to be running the gauntlet."

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