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Cowboys pack still strong says Barrett

Wayne Cousins

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Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Head Coach Trent Barrett says the North Queensland Cowboys are still well catered for in the forwards despite the losses of key men Matt Scott and Jason Taumalolo.

An ACL injury suffered last weekend has ruled Scott out for the season while Taumalolo will miss the clash with Manly at 1300Smiles Stadium on Saturday night through suspension for a shoulder charge.

The Sea Eagles are also without props Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake through suspension, and Lloyd Perrett through injury, as the team searches for their first win of the season.

“The players they will bring off the bench and into the starting side are still very handy and would be starting middles at nearly every other (NRL) club,’’ Barrett said in Townsville today.

“We can’t control what they are doing. We need a better performance from ourselves. We (too) are missing a few middles. It might even it up a little bit.

“The blokes they are bringing in, they certainly don’t lose a lot…guys like (Patrick) Kaufusi, (Scott) Bolton, and Ethan Low, they have got some big boys in there.

“They have got a big junior nursery up here and I’m sure they have found a few more Matt Scott clones. They are going to be very hard to beat.

“In saying that, we have been our own worst enemy in the last two weeks with handling errors with the ball in round one and defensive lapses last week that we didn’t do in the first round. We just have to worry about ourselves. If you don’t do the little things right, you are going to get beat.

“The boys are disappointed with the performance last week, we all were. They are pretty upbeat. The good thing about footy is you get the chance to redeem yourself quite quickly and our chance is on Saturday.”