North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten snaps at journalist after devastating defeat by Cronulla leaves his side’s season hanging by a thread
- Todd Payten snapped at a question from a reporter on Thursday
- The Cowboys’ season hangs by a thread after defeat by Sharks
- Payten took issue with a question about this week’s training
An angry Todd Payten was in a prickly mood following North Queensland’s defeat by Cronulla, firing back at a journalist in a heated press conference.
The Cowboys let slip a six-point lead to suffer a devastating 32-12 loss to the Sharks on Thursday night, leaving their finals hopes hanging by a threat amid a dismal season.
North Queensland are outside the eight with 28 points, while the Knights and Rabbitohs are in seventh and eighth on 29 and 28 points respectively, but have a game in hand.
When asked whether he approached training in a ‘relaxed’ manner, Payten bristled.
‘We hear the preparation this week was pretty relaxed, was that a mistake?’ the journalist asked.
Todd Payten snapped at a journalist after his side’s defeat by the Cronulla Sharks
The Cowboys’ season hangs by a thread after they lost at home on Thursday night
‘Were you at training?’ Payten quipped.
‘I think I heard some pre-match conversations, Jason said it as well that it was a bit more a relaxed week,’ the journalist replied.
‘Our training sessions were short, sharp and intense. Our group respond better when they are relaxed,’ Payten said.
‘If I’m amped up or I am consistently in to our players we know that pushes my energy on to them and they tighten up.
‘There was no mucking around or hijinx, everyone was focused and got their job done. We were just outplayed in the end.
‘We put ourselves under some pressure and played a good team.’
Payten also paid credit to Jeremiah Nanai, who had to take to the field having had multiple painkilling injections to play against the Sharks.
The backrower suffered a serious AC join blow against Parramatta in Round 21, and was widely expected to miss this week’s game.
‘It was pretty brave from the kid, he needed to get needled to train, needled before the game and at halftime,’ Payten said.
‘Makes us a better team so he will be sore. He’s got eight days to get himself going again before we play the Dolphins on Friday night.’