Paul Green backs Cowboys' edge to come good
COWBOYS coach Paul Green is confident his struggling right edge will rediscover its mojo after it let in four tries in a horror first-half display in Saturday's loss to the Dragons.
Returning from three weeks out with a hamstring injury, Queensland Origin centre Justin O'Neill was badly exposed by opposite number Tim Lafai, who scored a double, while winger Kyle Feldt's nightmare start to the season continued.
Feldt made three errors and leads the competition with 17 in seven games, and appears to have lost all confidence under the high ball.
It has been a worrying slump for the 25-year-old, who was all but assured of a maiden Queensland jersey last year before he produced an error-riddled game against Brisbane.
He has continued his strong running out of trouble and racked up 173 metres against the Dragons, but Antonio Winterstein's possible return from a broken arm against Newcastle at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday could put his position in doubt.
Left winger Gideon Gela-Mosby has been solid so far in Winterstein's place with three tries in four games, although he made four errors against the Dragons.
North Queensland's right centre or winger are yet to score a try all season, but injuries have forced Green to chop and change his personnel regularly.
Asked if Feldt was under pressure, Green said: "There's probably a bit of pressure on all of us as a team.
"Some individuals probably aren't performing to what they're capable of so when you're in that situation as a team, you have to fight hard and scrap a win out get some confidence.
"Feldty is probably one of those players, he's not on his own though."
Back-rower Gavin Cooper said it was unfair to make the right edge a scapegoat for the 28-4 halftime hole they dug themselves, before a second-half comeback fell just short.
"No one's going to blame the right edge. On the left edge we've had our fair share of dramas and had some (player) turnover there as well.
"They (Newcastle) will look at that and they may target it (right edge) again, but their strike power is on the other side of the field with Dane Gagai.
"Everyone gets a turn, whether it's the middle or the right or left edge. Everyone goes through times when they're under the pump."
Coen Hess is starting at right-edge back-row with injuries forcing Ethan Lowe to the middle, and Green believes the combination will improve over time.
"That comes with a lack of cohesion, they haven't played a lot of footy together all four of them as a combination," Green said.
"It was a bit disappointing in terms of the overall game, there's some experience on that side and they did concede a few tries down there.
"But they've usually been our strongest side defensively, so I'm sure they'll be able to fix it up."