The Set Of Six: Mediocre NRL Players – North Queensland Cowboys

This is the penultimate SET OF SIX. Yep, I’m almost done.

Today we cover some rather heavy hitters, in that except for the mediocre Broncos pairing of David Stagg and Darius Boyd from my very first list, I do not believe two Premiership winners have made it into a SET OF SIX.

Although I could very well be wrong, because I was one of those NSW fans who emphatically declared “Game Over” when the Blues were up 10-0 in Game 1 SOO. So clearly, I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

Since winning their maiden title in 2015, the Cowboys have been a rather anticlimactic club. Sure they went on a remarkable run to the GF without Jonathan Thurston in 2017, but otherwise they’ve been shooting blanks.

I mean what sort of team loses its first game at their brand new stadium, especially when playing the arch rivals?

I’ll tell you who, the Cowboys, and this is NOT where the recent mediocrity stops.

Ben Jones (2011-2012) – 8 Games, 3 Tries

There are more freckles on the face of Ben Jones, than the number of memorable NRL appearances.

Blessed with blinding red hair and a can do attitude, Indigenous All Stars representative Ben Jones was thrown way in the deep end during his Cowboys stint, most notably filling the halfback void left by Jonathan Thurston for three games in 2011.

As Brad Pitt’s character famously said in the 2011 film ‘Moneyball’...

“There are rich teams, and there are poor teams”

“Then there’s 50 feet of crap”

“And then there’s us”

Sub out the word ‘teams’ for ‘halfbacks’, and you have my basic opinion of that coaching decision.

In actuality, Jones didn’t do too bad, winning 2/3 of his games in the heralded Number 7 North Queensland jersey.

He did himself no disgrace and good on him.

But sorry Ben, you were still shit.

Robert Lui (2012-2015) – 46 Games, 13 Tries, 5 Goals

Staying on the halfback crusade, I mean when JT is your half for the majority of the decade, anyone else to where that jersey was always doomed.

All things considered, Robert Lui was a pretty decent player. He was involved in some big moments, in some massive games during his NRL career. However, Lui stands out as a mediocre Cowboy for one particular reason though.

It was his forearm, which caused the knock-on in the dying stages of NQ’s 2014 Semi-Final loss against the Roosters.

Let me set the scene.

The Cowboys are down 31-30, keeping in mind it was initially 30-0 to Easts earlier, and Kyle Feldt made a break in the 79th minute. He passes infield to Lui, who doesn’t catch the ball but dubiously knocks in on. Thurston picks it up and scores but it is ruled no try, and the fairy-tale ended in tears once again.

After the rotten luck NQ had already suffered in years past, they really didn’t deserve this. It’s an unfortunate legacy for Robert Lui in the NRL.

Shane Wright (2017-) 25 Games, 2 Tries