Taumalolo set for stint on sidelines

Jason Taumalolo is facing a couple of weeks on the sidelines as the Tongan international faces scans for a damaged calf muscle.

The sight of Taumalolo hobbling up the tunnel of McDonald Jones Stadium in the 53rd minute would have sent shivers up the spines of all North Queensland Cowboys fans.

He only managed 41 metres in his 32 minutes on the field in Sunday's 12-0 loss to the Knights, which is far below his usual standards.

In the round seven 32-30 win over the Knights in Townsville, Taumalolo ran for 297 metres in his 70 minutes input.

"It's a calf injury but I'm not sure of the severity. It's a fresh injury – he had no niggle coming into the game," said Cowboys coach Josh Hannay.

Hannay said he expected his lock to miss "at least a couple of weeks".

Calf muscles have a funny way of hanging around – like hamstrings – not allowing players to come back as early as they hoped.

Asked if Taumalolo might have played his last club game of 2020, Hannay said: "I wouldn't have a clue but I hope not.

"He's obviously key for us but as I said, I'm not sure how severe it is."

After scoring six tries in the 31-30 loss to the Rabbitohs a week ago, the Cowboys couldn't cross the line against the Knights. Hannay said the 40km/h wind blowing down the field didn't allow either side to use the ball out wide.

Still the Cowboys kept the Knights to two tries in a decent defensive display.

It is the last-tackle options and kicking game that Hannay wants his men to work harder at getting right.

"I didn't like our last plays. I thought our kicking game was poor, especially in the second half.

"I thought we worked hard in the first half to give ourselves a chance," he said of the 6-0 half-time score.

"We showed some effort and some resolve that we haven't seen a lot of for a while at this club. So we gave ourselves a chance but we lacked control in the second half with our last plays to build any pressure.