Cowboys’ gamble in post-JT era
WINGER Kyle Feldt has accepted a friendly wager with North Queensland recruit Nene Macdonald to see who will score the most NRL tries after revealing the Cowboys will gamble on a new "off the cuff" attack in 2019.
Feldt said Cowboys coach Paul Green had admitted they had become too predictable with the ball during a frustrating campaign this year in which they finished 13th.
He said North Queensland would adopt a more free-flowing style as they begin life without retired playmaker Johnathan Thurston.
"It's not about new plays (without Thurston). It is more playing with our eyes up, it's more off the cuff," Feldt said.
"They have more opportunity to throw the ball around, swing it wide to us; I think that is what Greeny is leaning toward.
"He did say we need to be less predictable and less structured."
Feldt hopes to benefit from their new ad-lib attack - for his own hip pocket's sake - after he accepted former St George Illawarra flyer Macdonald's challenge."We put a little wager on it last week," he said.
"With the player he is and the stuff he can do it's going to be very interesting to see how it pans out at the end of the year but hopefully I get the money."
Feldt crossed 14 times in 2018 to be the Cowboys' top try scorer for the second straight season while PNG international Macdonald scored 10 tries for the Dragons.
"I am pretty confident. I got it (top try scorer) two years in a row so we will see how it pans out," Feldt said.
"It makes the season more interesting."
Feldt believed another new recruit, Ben Barba, would shine under Green's new approach.
"I think it is going to suit us, especially with Ben Barba at the back," he said.
"He's coming off a really good season in Super League and when he was playing in the NRL he was lightning quick and very hard to handle.
"Hopefully I get a few long balls from him."
The Cowboys backline has a new look with the departures of Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett for England and retirements of Thurston and winger Antonio Winterstein.
Feldt said the arrival of Macdonald and Tom Opacic from Brisbane ensured the Cowboys' centre positions were "up for grabs" for the season kick-off.