When Coen Hess arrived for the start of pre-season in November he never imagined come Round 21 he would lining up at centre in the XXXX Derby against Brisbane.
An outside back injury crisis forced North Queensland Toyota Cowboys head coach Paul Green to shift Hess to the centres in Round 19 and the 22-year-old has looked anything but out of place.
Hess has run for at least 130 metres in all three of his appearances at centre, including 133 in last night’s clash with the Broncos, which earnt him Tropic Petroleum Man of the Match honours at post-match presentations at the Cowboys Leagues Club.
“There were some really good efforts. Jason Taumalolo played really well, he stood up against a really physical forward pack and got us on the front foot. Matt Scott came into the starting team late and he played really well,” Green said.
“The guy we gave the award to has been playing out of position, but he hasn’t whinged, he’s just got on with the job. He had some really strong carries again against Brisbane and that was Coen Hess.”
Hess said he is enjoying the challenge of playing centre.
“I’ve never seen myself as much of a centre, but I’m really enjoying it. Greeny gave me the opportunity three weeks ago and every game I’m getting more comfortable,” he said.
“I’m playing there while we’ve got a few boys out injured and I’m just trying to do my best. I’ve enjoyed helping carry us out of our end. Seeing first hand how hard those carries are, it makes you appreciate a little bit more what out back five do.”