Saturday's trial not 'make or break' - Henry
Wednesday 6 February 2013 5:01 PM
North Queensland coach Neil Henry says Saturday night’s pre-season trial against Brisbane will not be “make or break” for the selection chances of any members of his 21-man squad.
The Toyota Cowboys’ lineup for the Mt Isa clash includes several players on the fringe of selection for the season opener against Canterbury on 9 March, including halfback Robert Lui, forwards Scott Bolton and Ricky Thorby and winger Kalifa Faifai Loa.
“I expect all the boys will be a little bit rusty,” Henry said.
“It will probably be difficult conditions as well in Mt Isa. It will be fairly warm, but we’ll rotate everyone off and on so hopefully everyone should get 40 or 50 minutes.”
Henry said it would be good to see the halves duo of Lui and Michael Morgan in action, adding that it is Morgan who probably holds the edge at the moment to be selected in the starting 13 to tackle the Bulldogs.
Ray Thompson, who could return from injury next week against the Dragons, is another contender for the number 7.
“There is a bit of competition on for a spot next to JT to start the season,” the coach said.
“I think Michael’s earned the right to be there on the back of his performances at the end of last season.
“I thought he was tremendous – three tries in that game against the Broncos and he finished the season in a strong position.
“Ray Thompson had to have his shoulder operated on and he had been doing a very good job in that role before his injury.
“Rob is quite determined to have a crack at that spot and he certainly has some great attacking flair.
“It’s going to be very competitive in the halves.”
One of the other selection duels to be decided over the trials is between Ricky Thorby and Scott Bolton for a bench position.
Both will start against the Broncos.