Rugby league legend Wally Lewis says he was left “fully confused” by Cowboys coach Todd Payten’s dealing with of former Dally M Medallist Jason Taumalolo.
Payten created headlines early on within the season when he made a concerted effort to restrict the 28-year-old’s minutes, saying the club wanted to be “mindful of his body and work rate”.
After a irritating season which noticed the Cowboys end second-last on the ladder with simply seven wins, Lewis questioned the deserves of limiting the aspect’s greatest participant, earlier than shifting him out of his most popular lock place to the backrow edge.
“I actually could not see why he (Payten) shifted Taumalolo. I used to be fully confused by that,” he advised Broad World of Sports activities.
“Even within the troublesome occasions on the Broncos, Darren Lockyer wasn’t moved, Allan Langer wasn’t shifted.
“You construct the bottom of a group round your champion performers, and I believed that ought to have been how North Queensland offered their season.
“It was very obscure. Maybe I wasn’t shut sufficient to it and could not see plenty of different gamers could not be positioned in these positions.
“To see him in that place left me a bit confused, I’ve obtained to say.”
Lewis’ level was echoed by Broncos nice Sam Thaiday, who implored the Cowboys to construct their group round Taumalolo subsequent season.
“I am uncertain how lengthy Taumalolo’s contract is left on the Cowboys, however that should not replicate on how they play him now,” he advised Broad World of Sports activities.
“I believe they need to play him this season and get the most effective out of him this season. Subsequent season shouldn’t be promised and the season after that’s not promised.
“You construct your group round your greatest gamers, and I believe Taumalolo in that 13 place is at his greatest, enjoying off the again of fast play-the-balls, wrecking and rampaging by the center.
“We touched on David Fifita and I stated I would like to see Fifita play in that lock position and have free rein… I would like to see Taumalolo have free rein on the sector as effectively.”