No room for complacency at Cowboys: Payten

·2-min read

North Queensland coach Todd Payten says one half of decent rugby league doesn't fix a slow start to his side's 2021 NRL campaign ahead of a bottom-of-the-table clash with Canterbury.

The Cowboys held on for their first win of the season with a 34-30 victory over Wests Tigers but went close to botching a 28-6 halftime lead.

Payten's side finally showed glimpses of their potential, running in five first-half tries through a combination of individual brilliance and set-piece play.

But Payten said their second-half display wasn't pleasant viewing from the coach's box and is adamant his side can't get ahead of themselves against a Canterbury side also struggling.

"I don't know how or why our players would ever think like that - we've put forty minutes to football together in five rounds so our theme this week is turning that into eighty," Payten said.

"I'll be very, very surprised and super disappointed if we took the foot off the throat, or gas, in any way.

Cowboys captain Jason Taumalolo, who was a late omission from Sunday's win, is expected to return this week after missing four games because of a hand injury.

However, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who's spectacular try opened their account on Sunday, could miss at least two weeks as he waits results on injured ankle.

Payten said it was disappointing to lose Tabuai-Fidow but his sensational solo effort was the perfect platform to help rediscover lost confidence.

"It could be two weeks, could be surgery which means longer," Payten said on the young flyer's injury.

"He said it's not too sore, (but) we just have to wait till we get the review back."

"I thought that (try) just sort of released a little bit of tension within the group on the weekend and they grew a leg from it. So it was positive."