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Rugby league legend Wally Lewis says the Cowboys were handed a reality check last weekend after getting blown off the park against the Roosters.
North Queensland is back in action tonight against the Warriors, with kick-off set for 6.00pm AEST.
Coming off a 24-point thrashing to the Roosters, the Cowboys will know they must put in a better performance.
“Yeah, I think it was [a reality check], certainly the North Queenslanders were full of confidence,” Lewis told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“They probably felt they had started the season off quite well, but I had a suspicion the Roosters were going to be ready to fire.
“They (Roosters) had a challenge put in front of them – no coach, what can you do? Go and prove it. There was only one way you could do that, and that is to produce your level best on that occasion.”
Tom Gilbert was sent to the sin bin for an off-the-ball push, Griffin Neame followed for a late hit and Chad Townsend copped the same punishment for a high shot.
It led North Queensland coach Todd Payten to making the extraordinary accusation during his post-match press conference that the strongest teams in the league were receiving preferential treatment from referees.
“I agree, I thought there were a few calls that were extremely tough, and all the coaches and players looking for is consistency in the rules by the referees,” Lewis added.
“They found themselves deep inside their own territory and trying to come up with some sort of plan.
“I think there are also people calling for a better performance from Jason Taumalolo – his best certainly hasn’t been up for grabs this year. They will have another challenge this week.”