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Jason Taumalolo | Photo: Charles Knight,

Jason Taumalolo's blockbusting round one performance against the Canberra Raiders has not surprisingly grabbed the attention of NZ Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney.

With less than two months before the year’s first international assignment – the Anzac Test in Sydney on 2 May – Kearney is keeping a close watch on the form of his players and highlighting standout performances each week.

Taumalolo ran for a massive 226 metres with seven tackle busts against a terrorised Raiders defence and played his first full 80 minutes as an NRL player.

Although he represented Tonga at the World Cup, the 20-year-old is eligible to switch to New Zealand for the May Test.

“I thought there were some great performances all across the weekend,” Kearney said.

“The boys at Melbourne were terrific in that Storm comeback, while Jason Taumalolo and Antonio Winterstein played really well for the Cowboys.”

“Jason made a really big difference on Saturday, with his powerful running and playing for 80 minutes.

“His combination with Johnathan Thurston is going to be a real test for us at the Broncos when we face them this week.”

Kearney is an assistant coach at the Broncos.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.