Cowboys looking to show true grit
RUGBY LEAGUE: North Queensland winger Kyle Feldt has played down carrying a groin injury into last year's grand final, but insists the Cowboys must retain that grit and tenacity despite the return of co-captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston.
Despite carrying a huge number of busted players into the finals, the Cowboys defied the odds by coming from eighth spot to make the decider against Melbourne.
Feldt's injury wasn't public knowledge until it was revealed by Cowboys coach Paul Green after the grand final loss.
"It wasn't anything major, not as bad as Boltsy (prop Scott Bolton) or Te Maire (Martin), a niggling injury you get through the year and you just have to push on,” Feldt said.
"I don't think anyone's going to sit out the last games of the year, especially the year we had.
"Boltsy is a front-rower and I'm only a dirty old winger. If I've got a cork I can't sit out, I've got to push through it.
"He (Bolton) was getting a couple of needles every game, my groin blew up a bit the last couple of games but it was all right.”
Without Thurston and Scott, other players flourished with the extra responsibility and Feldt has no doubt they won't sit back now their leaders have returned.
"Coops (stand-in skipper Gavin Cooper) stood up very well and got a lot of recognition for it through the year,” Feldt said.
"The boys really look up to him and he's not just a player or mate on the field, he's someone you can consult off the field about your life dramas.”
The rest of the Cowboys squad, aside from World Cup stars Michael Morgan and Jordan McLean, are due back at training today.
Feldt said the pain of losing last year's grand final was the only spur they need to conquer the debilitating Townsville heat.
"It's a lot more motivation this year, especially falling one short,” Feldt said.
"We're really looking forward to the season ahead and are going to get in as much work as we can before Christmas and build on that.”