We'll be ready to go in 2013 - Sims
Tuesday 13 November 2012 2:11 PM
North Queensland front-rower Ashton Sims says the Toyota Cowboys’ controversial exit from the 2012 NRL finals series should provide some inspiration when the hard work starts for their 2013 campaign.
The Cowboys begin pre-season training on Monday with the goal of qualifying for the finals for the third straight year and then trying to go even further than their week two loss against Manly from the recently completed season.
Marred by an incorrect video referee decision which gave the Sea Eagles a vital second-half try, that finals game is sure to be on the minds of several Cowboys for a long time.
“The way we finished last year is definitely going to be a fire in a lot of people’s bellies,” Sims said.
“We’ll definitely be ready to go (for 2013).
“I’ve got a few goals that I’ve talked to the coaches about.
“I know what I want to get done and the first one definitely is to get a good pre-season under my belt and make sure I’m right to go for the trials.”
Sims said the stability in the Cowboys player ranks should help next season.
Of the squad of 17 who played against Manly, only starting hooker James Segeyaro is no longer with North Queensland, while veteran Aaron Payne, who missed that game through injury, is the other only major loss.
“This group has been together for around two years,” Sims said.
“We know how each other plays now.”
Meanwhile, Michael Morgan says he is taking nothing for granted for the 2013 season despite starring at halfback over the closing weeks of the 2012 campaign, including scoring three tries in the finals victory against Brisbane.
Morgan took over the number seven jersey when Ray Thompson went down with a shoulder injury, but Thompson, who had played almost 50 consecutive games in the halves, will be ready for the pre-season as will Robert Lui, who was suspended for most of 2012.
The incumbent halfback is ready to fight for his position.
“Definitely, that's my goal,” Morgan told the Townsville Bulletin.
“I want to try and be there in round one - if not, I'll just have to keep working towards it and try and get my foot in the door again.
“I've had a good off-season this year - it's the first time in a couple of years that I haven't needed surgery.
“I've had a good break and I'm feeling good, so I'm looking forward to it.”