"There's a big game ahead of us"

Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green does not expect the fallout from Tariq Sims’ season-ending suspension to have a negative impact on his teammates ahead of the knockout final against the Sydney Roosters on Friday night.

The back-rower today lodged an early guilty plea to a grade three shoulder charge and will be ruled out for five NRL matches.

There has been plenty of publicity surrounding the Sims incident since the elimination final victory against Brisbane but it won’t take the Cowboys’ focus away from the Roosters, according to Green.

“We’ll be right – there’s a big game ahead of us,” the coach said when asked if losing the back-rower would hurt team morale.

“We feel terrible for Tariq but that’s life and we’ll get on with it.”

The lengthy ban for Sims has forced the coach to make his first personnel change in a month to his squad of 17 with Glenn Hall promoted to the starting pack and Ethan Lowe called up to the bench.

“Hally’s won comps before. He’s been around for a long time so he knows what it’s all about,” Green said.

“(Ethan) has played well in the couple of games he’s been back there (with the Northern Pride).

“He’s also done a good job for us at different times throughout the year.

“It’s a great opportunity for Ethan.”

The Cowboys will hold their first field training session of the week tomorrow morning and will head south to Sydney on Thursday.