North Queensland Toyota Cowboys coach Paul Green has stayed loyal to his run-on side ahead of their round 2 match-up against the Newcastle Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium on Saturday night.
Green explained to media that he saw no reason to wield the axe after their disappointing opening round performance against the Sydney Roosters.
“It’s important players feel a little bit of security and generally speaking I’ve been pretty loyal in the past.
"The boys are pretty disappointed in performances individually and as a team and I’ve given them a chance to make amends.
"We've got to keep it all in perspective – it wasn’t the way we wanted to start round one in front of our home fans but it’s a long season.”
Despite him scoring the Cowboys' only try against the Tricolours, the coach admitted nerves probably got the best of 2012 Premiership winner Justin O'Neill on the night.
“I’ve got confidence in him, he’s a better player than what he showed on the weekend and he gets another opportunity to prove that this weekend.”
Hard-running back-rower Kelepi Tanginoa comes on to the bench to replace Glenn Hall, and after playing 13 NRL games for Parramatta, he'll make his debut for the Cowboys off the bench this Saturday night.
“I think he just adds a bit of punch for us, he certainly carries the ball really well," Green said.
"He’s a young guy and going to get better with more experience in the top grade.”
North Queensland has won the last three matches against the Knights in Townsville, but Green isn’t taking that record for granted.
“Hopefully we can show our fans and supporters round one was a hiccup and we can make amends to it Saturday night.”