Rugby league great Greg Alexander has laid into the North Queensland Cowboys, after they were thumped 48-10 by the Cronulla Sharks at Jubilee Stadium in Round Four.
North Queensland, who last week lost by 36 points to the Titans, suffered their fourth consecutive defeat to begin the 2021 season.
After scores were locked at six apiece early in the first half, Todd Payten’s men conceded seven consecutive tries as part of a Cronulla onslaught. The Cowboys finished the match with 13 total errors and a completion rate of just 69 per cent.
Alexander, a former Penrith Panthers great, took aim at the Cowboys’ playing group during the match for not playing with any heart and questioned whether there’s much the North Queensland coach can do to turn the season around.
“The Cowboys have been diabolical,” Alexander told Fox League.
“We’ve had some big losses this weekend already, we’ve had three teams – Panthers, Souths and Storm have big wins, but none of them were leading 36-6 at half-time.
“Todd Payten, I don’t know where he goes from now?
“A complete lack of effort. Whatever he is trying to do up there is not working, it’s not sinking in.
“These blokes aren’t playing for their lives or contracts.”
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Cowboys veteran and premiership winner Jake Granville admitted after the match his side has been playing “soft” while also failing to stand up on the defensive end.
“It feels pretty bad, to be honest,” Granville said.
“Defensively we’re not resilient enough.
“We’re coughing up the ball, but we’re not jumping the fence and defending off our errors.
“Defensively we’re soft at the moment and a bit disconnected.”