Time Hess mans up for Cowboys
The loss of Jason Taumalolo so early in the season has already threatened to derail North Queensland's 2019 campaign but the answer to success lies within, says Robert Craddock, if the Cowboys have the courage to find it.
Speaking to the Monday Bunker panel, Craddock said the solution to Taumalolo's injury lay in rising star Coen Hess.
The 22-year-old Origin star will likely see big minutes over the next two months following news Taumalolo's MCL injury sustained against the Broncos on Friday night would rule him out for up to 10 weeks.
The Courier Mail's Craddock said North Queensland's success or failure in coming weeks would come down to how well Hess absorbed the pressure of Taumalolo's absence.
"Such a defining couple of months for the club because they've been powered by the two JTs for years - Taumalolo and Thurston," Craddock said.
"And suddenly Thurston is gone forever and Taumalolo for at least a couple of months.
"Someone like Coen Hess has to go from being a boy to a man doesn't he? Huge pressure on them."