Cowboys players put on notice after Raiders rout
THE Cowboys have been warned that several positions are on the line following their 30-12 loss to Canberra on Saturday night.
North Queensland fell to their third consecutive defeat for the season, exposing worrying chinks in the club's finals aspirations.
Coach Paul Green said positions were at risk if the poor performances continued.
"I will say, you can't keep tossing up performances like that and expect to keep your position," he said.
"If guys just aren't doing their job then we've got to find some guys that can get our game on."
It was supposed to be a night of celebrations in front of 11,750 fans in Townsville as the club notched up their 600th NRL game but Canberra dominated in a five-tries-to-two loss.
The same Cowboys side that were embarrassed in a 42-16 drubbing to Cronulla last weekend were given a chance at redemption but fell disappointingly short.
"(We're) just not consistent enough at the moment," Green said.
"Good in patches but obviously our starts are hurting us, putting us under pressure at the start but just not consistent enough.
"We do have plenty of experience there that have been through this and have got themselves out of it.
"It's amazing what a win can do and at the moment we just need to scrap and fight and get a win under the belt and try and build on that."
North Queensland failed to start the game well for a fourth straight week, having been unable to register a point within the first 20 minutes due to a lack of attack.
The Cowboys face another challenging game when they play top-of-the-table Melbourne Storm on Friday night.
Green said he was confident the team could turn things around.
"(Our performance) is not completely surprising given the changes in the roster," he said.
"We've got some young guys coming in and we lost Johnathan (Thurston) from last year, so he was a big leader from that point of view.
"In saying that, we've still got Matt Scott, Gavin Cooper, those guys still there.
"We need to fix it but I'm confident we can."
The loss meant the Cowboys were at the bottom of the ladder ahead of the winless Titans and they will need to find some improvement in their attack ahead of next weekend.
Super sub John Asiata was the Cowboys' best as he added an extra dimension in attack and also bagged his second career try.
Canberra's edge was also a worry for the North Queensland side and it showed with tries to both of their wingers and centres.
North Queensland were touted as genuine top-eight contenders heading into the season but there are worrying signs following their 1-3 win-loss record to start the season.
The only solace they would fine in their poor start to the season was the same win-loss record in their 2015 premiership winning year.