Kyle Feldt of the Cowboys (centre) looks on after a Tigers try during the Round 6 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Kyle Feldt of the Cowboys (centre) looks on after a Tigers try during the Round 6 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, June 20, 2020. (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

McGuire takes aim at sputtering Cowboys

COWBOYS hard man Josh McGuire has shared some harsh truths about the North Queensland playing group following their underwhelming 36-20 loss to the Tigers last weekend.

The veteran NRL forward has conceded the responsibility was solely on the players to pull themselves out of the doldrums and challenged his teammates to find the motivation to compete.

It comes after the future of Cowboys coach Paul Green came under question in the aftermath of Saturday's loss.

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Former club great Brent Tate also took aim at the players, calling on them to take responsibility for their lacklustre performances.

McGuire is aware of the pressure mounting on the club - currently 10th on the ladder - as the players fight to avoid a third straight year of not playing finals footy.

The North Queensland front rower said the blame should be aimed at the players and not head coach Green.

"It's probably one of the hardest jobs in the world being a coach because you have no real outcome on what happens on the field," McGuire said.

"You can do all the progress you want but if blokes don't turn up and don't do their job, then for whatever reason you're the guy under the pump.

"For a coach, who's won two grand finals, won one and achieved everything he has in the game, with the amount of pressure that he is (under), it's solely on us as a playing group and we need to wear the brunt of that.

Could North Queensland miss the finals again? Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
Could North Queensland miss the finals again? Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

"We know we haven't been good enough for a couple of years now.

"You can have all these excuses, but 17 guys go out there and play on a weekend but if you don't go out there and do your job, then we have to be held accountable."

The Cowboys have the third worst defence in the competition so far this year, leaking 149 points in just six games, and allowed the Tigers to run out to a record 34-0 lead by halftime last weekend.

McGuire admitted he had been left "embarrassed" after last weekend's performance and said the players needed to show some signs of improvement against Newcastle this weekend.

"It's not going to be fixed in one 80 minutes of football, but we just need to see the improvements," McGuire said.

The Cowboys have struggled again this season. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
The Cowboys have struggled again this season. Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

"We can't sit here and say we've got the youngest spine or whatever, it's all a cop out.

"We're all professional rugby league players, we all get paid handsomely to do what we do.

"It's a privilege to be doing this especially the way the world is today.

"We've got to have a hard look at ourselves and get back on the bike and start pedalling in the same direction all together."



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