For North Queensland Toyota Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo, it was a case of “mission accomplished” following a successful hit-and-run win in Canberra over the weekend.
Knowing they were going into sub-zero temperatures – and an equally frosty reception from a Raiders crowd demanding their team turn the corner – the Cowboys showed true class and resolve to outplay the Raiders 31-18 at GIO Stadium.
The visitors ran hot as the mercury dipped below zero, but, speaking from the warmer climes of Townsville on Monday, Taumalolo said the team’s performance was about going in with the right mindset.
“It probably wasn’t the ideal weather to be playing footy in, but we went down there with the mindset of wanting to do down, get the win, and get out of there, so I guess that mentality helped,” Taumalolo said.
The bullocking middle forward – who again ran for nearly 200m at the weekend to keep up his incredible consistency – said that steely resolve was a product of necessity with the team determined to have a successful 2017 despite being so heavily hit with injuries to key players.
“We’ve had a setback with a lot of players injured, but in saying that, our mentality for the rest of the season is to go in there, find a way to win and get out,” he said, the young tyro singling out his more experienced teammate Shaun Fensom as leading the way with that determined, no-excuses attitude.
“Fenno had a great game against his old club,” Taumalolo said. “He was playing his 150th game and to see him step up in those circumstances was really great to see and we’re going to need a lot more of that for the rest of the season from all of us.”
Taumalolo said the team’s second bye this weekend has come at a perfect time, especially for the forward pack, many of whom have played more average minutes per game this season than they would have over the rest of their careers.
The team did a weights session on Tuesday and following a team review of the Canberra game, the players will get an extended break, reporting back for training next Tuesday.
Their next opponent is South Sydney on Sunday 16 July in Cairns, the Rabbitohs taking a home game to the Far North.