Coen Hess believes the parochial support of passionate North Queensland fans could be the tonic the Toyota Cowboys need to kick their season into gear.
The Cowboys are gearing up to embark on a three-game home-stand at 1300SMILES Stadium, beginning with a showdown against the Bulldogs at 5.30pm on Saturday evening.
Hess said the Cowboys playing group are hoping for large and vocal crowds at their home fortress over the next three weekends.
“Hopefully [being at home] we can get into a bit of a rhythm because obviously now we don’t have to worry about going down south,” he said.
The Cowboys second-rower said the side took a great deal of confidence out of their 10-point loss to the Warriors in New Zealand – particularly in defence.
After conceding three tries in the first half, the Cowboys tackled superbly in the second 40, conceding just four points courtesy of two Shaun Johnson penalty goals.
“I think our desperation on the line in the second half was a huge positive. Everyone was ramped and there was a lot of enthusiasm. Even though our defensive techniques weren’t perfect, we were scrambling and finding a way to stop tries and that is a really positive thing,” Hess said.
“The boys are a lot more confident going into this week. ‘Greeny’ didn’t really harp on too much about the negatives of the Warriors game. He showed us the positives and when we were at our best and that has certainly transferred on to the [training paddock].”
Hess said he is keenly anticipating the showdown with a gigantic Bulldogs pack and in particular fellow representative forwards David Klemmer and Aaron Woods.
“They are two big bodies that go forward and create a bit of punch. In saying that we have our big boys as well so it will be a good battle in the middle there. We’ll be looking to go set for set with them and hopefully we can come out on top.”
Saturday's Round 6 match against the Bulldogs kicks off at 5.30pm. Tickets: ticketek.com.au