Cowboys enforcer Ashton Sims has warned that his side must play better next week to get past the Roosters.
Ashton Sims has warned that the Sydney Roosters will “bury” North Queensland in their week two NRL elimination final if the Cowboys lapse as badly as they did against Brisbane on Saturday night.
While the Cowboys ran out comfortable 32-20 winners in the all-Queensland derby, the club was given a mighty scare in the second half.
Leading 24-0 and looking destined to run the cleaners through the eighth-placed Broncos, North Queensland leaked four second half tries – all through their right edge.
It allowed the Broncos to close to within 10 points at one stage and a shock upset looked possible.
North Queensland now face defending premiers the Roosters after they suffered a shock 19-18 loss to Penrith in their qualifying final on Saturday.
And with the Roosters boasting a formidable left edge of New South Wales duo Michael Jennings and Daniel Tupou, Sims warned the Cowboys could not afford to fall asleep at the wheel again.
“They will bury us if we toss that up in the second half,” he said.
“We’ll cop our medicine in video and move forward.”
Sims, one of the Cowboys’ form players in the engine room, said it was equally as important to match the Roosters’ New Zealand international front row pairing of Sam Moa and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
“They’re quality players,” he said.
“They don’t represent their country for nothing. They are probably two of the best front rowers in the game so I am looking forward to locking horns with them.”
The Cowboys will be sweating on the availability of Ashton’s brother Tariq, on report for a late shot on Justin Hodges, and winger Kyle Feldt, who suffered an ankle injury after a nasty leg pull from Ben Barba late in the match.
Fullback Michael Morgan was also forced from the field in the closing exchanges after a high shot from Broncos prop Ben Hannant, which was also placed on report.
He has declared himself fit for the Roosters clash, but echoed Sims’ warning.
“We can definitely learn from it, that patch in the second half,” he said.
“The first half was really good but we can’t afford to be falling away in these types of games.”