Future of unsung Cowboys hero up in the air

The rest of the competition should be keeping an eye on Scott Drinkwater, with the off-contract utility at risk of being squeezed out of Townsville after the club recently signed halves Chad Townsend and Tom Dearden.

The silky mover has his defensive deficiencies but there is no denying his attacking nous, especially his left boot which has set up six tries so far this season.

Drinkwater grubbered for Murray Taulagi to score the first try of the second half against the Warriors on Sunday and then backed up his winger a minute later to score a long-range four-pointer to spark his side after an insipid first 40 minutes.

Drinkwater was one of the Cowboys’ best on Sunday. Picture: Evan MorganSource:News Corp Australia

Cowboys coach Todd Payten is keen to keep Drinkwater at the club, but insists the ball is in his playmaker’s court.

“He’s a priority and he’s got an offer in front of him. We’ll just wait and see what happens,” he said.

The Cowboys missed an opportunity to move into the top eight after their three-game winning streak came to an end in Gosford due to a horror first half that saw them trail 24-4 at the break.

They have the ability to pile on points in a flurry, but their frustrating starts are preventing them from challenging any of the top sides.

“There are five teams that sit well above everyone else, and they can swing momentum back in their favour quicker than the rest of us,” Payten said.

“We’re close, but close is not good enough.

“When things are going against us, it goes against us in terms of points in clumps. I think the boys are trying really hard, but the connection out there at different times is lacking.

“You can’t win consistent games of footy when you only play for 40 minutes. We were under no illusions about where we were at.”

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