Losses a learning curve for Hess
Having debuted in 2015 during a golden era of North Queensland Toyota Cowboys success, second-rower Coen Hess admits that this year's struggles have been a huge learning curve.
"Ever since I made my debut, I've always been in a winning culture, so this is foreign to me," the 21-year-old said.
"We have been a top eight team for the last seven years, so for us to be second last is pretty foreign,
"There is obviously a lot of pressure."
Hess played 33 minutes off the bench for Queensland in last Wednesday's State of Origin series opener and then backed up for the Cowboys in Saturday night's defeat to the Eels.
Given the option to sit out today's training session in light of his recent workload, Hess said he wanted to take part to be as prepared as possible for Friday night's clash with the New Zealand Warriors.
"I had the option, but I thought it would be better to get some running in the legs," Hess said.
"The Warriors are a good team, so I wanted to make sure, come game-time, I'm as prepared as I can be.
"They are one of the form teams in the competition.
"We know we're in for a physical game."
Hess admits playing in two losses in the space of four days was an emotionally draining experience, and one of the hardest weeks of his young career.
"I'm a bit rattled," he said.
"I wasn't a part of the win against Manly, so my last win in football was against Penrith, which seems like forever ago.
"I'm obviously very drained, but that's football.
"You have to turn up with the right mindset each and every week."