A three-week stint in the Queensland Cup must feel a world away for North Queensland Toyota Cowboys outside back Justin O’Neill.
The 28-year-old returned to the NRL in Round 5 and has consistently been among the Cowboys best performers each week, averaging 163 running metres and five tackles breaks across three outings.
Although O’Neill’s Round 8 performance against the Titans was arguably his most impressive of 2019 and earned him Tropic Petroleum Man of the Match honours at post-match presentations at Cowboys Leagues Club.
The Cowboys right-winger ran for a monstrous 214 metres, made two line breaks and broke seven tackles to go along with an 80th minute try, which marked his fifth in five games this season.
“I was really happy with the fact we had to discuss a few players for man of the match,” Cowboys head coach Paul Green said.
“Johnny Asiata playing in a different position was outstanding. Jordan McLean played the first 40 minutes and was really strong.
“Jason Taumalolo had his first game back, knocked out some minutes as well as 200 plus metres, but the man of the match went to a guy who had a bumpy start to the season, but since he’s been back in the team he’s really found his groove and he’s gotten his strut back and that’s Justin O’Neill.”
O’Neill’s man-of-the-match jersey is on auction now, with proceeds going to the Cowboys Community Foundation and Legacy – bid now: bit.ly/2VO5sLe.