The North Queensland Cowboys find themselves in a less than desirable position to this stage of the Telstra 2018 NRL Premiership competition. If anyone had asked us if we could predict the 2018 Cows occupying the 15th spot on the ladder after 10 rounds, we would have looked at them as though they were complelty daft.
That is exactly the spot North Queensland finds itself, however, and when they look down the ladder, they see only the Parramatta Eels below.
That would seem to have some implications for the selections of the Maroons for State of Origin, but Queensland Coach Kevin Walters says the poor showing of the NRL team will not impact his decisions for the State of Origin side.
The Cows lost to Canberra, in Queensland, for the first time in 12 years in the 10th round and they have won just two games for the season, but Walters remains steadfast in his conviction that his selections will not be based on NRL play entirely.
“With the Cowboys, most of their players are pretty well entrenched at Origin level,” said Walters on Sky Sports Radio. “Even guys like Coen Hess who is battling away up there, he is still doing some good things.You look at the good things and not what they are doing, not so much poorly, but not quite where they are at.”
That last part sounds more than a little cryptic.
The reality, however, is far from cryptic.
The Cowboys played in the 2017 Grand Final. They were not equal to the Melbourne Storm, but number two in the 16-team league is a far cry better than number 15 on the 2018 NRL ladder.
Michael Morgan appeared to be one of the players whose spot on the Maroons was in jeopardy, but he has shown tantalising glimpses of form that may transcend the travails of his team, but his bombing of what appeared to be a sure try in the 68th minute against the Raiders revealed a player whose head is supplying doubts that cloud his decision making.