• The future of the Cowboys looks bright with the likes of new coach Tood Payton and fliers like Hamiso 'The Hammer' Tabuai-Fidow. (AAP|Cameron Laird)Source: AAP|Cameron Laird
The Cowboys have signed themselves into the Top Eight next year with the appointment of Payton, the Tigers chase the fastest man in rugby league, and another Battle for the West is make or break for the Eels, writes Timana Tahu.
Timana Tahu

Over the Black Dot
11 Sep 2020 - 12:36 PM  UPDATED 17 Sep 2020 - 9:12 AM

Payton to Cows

North Queensland has appointed new coach Todd Payten for next year after the club and premiership winning coach Paul Green parted ways mid-year.

Watching the NZ Warriors perform the way they have under the circumstances of having to leave their homeland and situate themselves at the Central Coast, plus the drama on and off-field with players leaving to go home, and former coach Stephan Kearney being sacked, I think Todd Payten has done a great job of keeping his squad together and preparing them to be competitive week in and week out.

I feel this was a test on whether he could handle the top job and I think with Covid-19 coming in, it has been a blessing for him to coach in this pandemic and chaos that’s around us this year.

North Queensland has got a strong side with talented players and on paper this squad should be in the Top 8. So, come next year I think Payten will have the same coaching style, making individual players accountable for their performance, being competitive in every situation for the full 80 minutes.

Being an ex-player plus being an assistant for the Cowboys in the past helps Payton with knowing the culture of the club and it been a one-club town. The relationships he built in the past with the Cowboys is going to be a great transition for both parties.

Tigers go the Foxx

The Tigers have supposedly offered a four-year contract to Josh Addo-Carr to play fullback but it won’t be fullback money.

Adam Doueihi got bought from Souths as a fullback but had been dropped and swapped with a positional change with Moses Mbye. Doueihi is a known fullback but played as a centre last weekend. So the Tigers have two fullbacks and now want to buy another one. This wouldn’t be a confidence booster for Doueihi or Mbye.

With Coach Maguire's positional changes and the dropping of players on game performances shows me Josh will be bought and will get a crack at fullback but won't own that position.

If we look back this year there have been numerous changes within the team. I can see Josh having a hard time as an individual player if he signs at this club. It could cost him his Origin and Kangaroo jerseys.

Being chopped and changed all the time because of an average performance can play with your mind and as a player, you can lose your confidence and play within yourself instead of expressing your talent.

Melbourne Storm has allowed Josh to do that. When Josh has had an average game he hasn’t had to look over his shoulder. It’s a big decision and high risk to change positions and clubs but it is also a high reward. I can see Josh being a great fullback, especially with the new rules with the speed of the ruck and quick play the balls.

This is a big decision and also there will be more expectations to perform which the experience been at the Storm and playing representative football I’m sure he will handle it wherever he goes.

Game of the Week - Eels v The 'Riff

Parramatta seems to be running on fumes. They are struggling big time, but this game against the confident, powerhouse, top of the table Penrith Panthers can make them or break them.

The Panthers are confident in going into any game, knowing they are better than anyone else in this competition. Watching from a distance they seem to have a successful atmosphere in their club. Usually, the clubs that are going well,  look healthy, happy, and have great relationships within the playing group. Also, the coaches have great relationships with their players and know how to get the best out of them. Penrith are showing these good traits.


On the flip side, Parramatta look frustrated, under pressure and - I have said it every time I talk about the Eels - there are certain players in key positions in the side that are not performing for the team!

Parra has one of the best back 3 in the competition, plus a big and powerful forward pack that are Premiership standard. But what is failing is direction, consistency, and performing under pressure. This game is a test for the Eels on where they are heading coming into the finals. Compete, attention to detail, and energy needs to be at the forefront of their thinking before anything else. Having a game plan is good but not having the right attitude means the game plan goes out the window.

Timana Tahu: SBW's back and Latrell is out for the rest of the season
With 3 weeks until Finals Footy, some big shake-ups have stirred the NRL with the addition of Sonny Bill Williams to the Roosters and the loss of Latrell Mitchell for the Souths, writes Timana Tahu.