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North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten answers phone call from Laurie Spina mid-press conference

Cowboys coach Todd Payten is a troublesome buyer however this surprising cellphone name had the retired rugby league hardman smiling.

North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten was all smiles when a cellphone name from inaugural membership captain Laurie Spina interrupted his post-match press convention on Saturday night time.

Payten had been addressing his aspect’s 36-16 win over the Newcastle Knights when the surprising name got here by.

“(It’s) big, bad Laurie Spina,” the often steely coach mentioned with a smile.

Payten picked the cellphone up mid-presser, a lot to the amusement of the media within the room.

“Hey Loz, we’re busy mate,” Payten advised Spina, “Give five minutes all right? All right. See you, mate.”

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Spina captained the Cowboys in 1995, their first 12 months within the NRL (then often known as the ARL) however retired on the finish of that season.

He has remained concerned in rugby league in North Queensland and his son Ben performed 16 video games for the Cowboys throughout Paul Inexperienced’s tenure as head coach.

Saturday night time’s win was North Queensland’s fourth in a row however regardless of the outcome, Payten mentioned the bunker had left him pissed off by overturning a strive within the second half.

Cowboys captain Jason Taumalolo crashed over within the sixty fifth minute however the bunker rescinded the four-pointer, ruling that younger gun Jeremiah Nanai had impeded Newcastle’s Lachlan Fitzgibbon in backplay.

In keeping with the NRL rule ebook, a decoy runner should not run on the chest or exterior shoulder of a defender and provoke contact.

However Payten mentioned Fitzgibbon made a defensive resolution to return out of the road and goal Nanai, which doesn’t represent obstruction.

“The language that the bunker used was confusing, to say that Jeremiah initiated contact,” Payten mentioned.

“It was Fitzgibbon who jammed on outside in and made contact with (Nanai’s) inside shoulder and deviated three or four metres off the line. That’s why I’m so confused.

“I’m really disappointed again that (the try) was taken off us. It’s consistently ruled inconsistently.

“It’s different from game to game. That’s what I don’t like.”

Payten’s feedback got here after Ricky Stuart accused the bunker of “damaging the fabric” of rugby league with its lack of ability to make right selections.

In his second season at North Queensland, Payten seems firmly within the working for Dally M Coach of the Yr honours; the Cowboys had been tipped to wrestle in 2022 however Payten has them within the high 4 after 9 rounds.

He’s unlocked Taumalolo after criticism of the way in which he used the aspect’s marquee participant in 2021 and can be getting the very best out of latest recruit Chad Townsend, who made his two hundredth NRL look on Saturday night time.

Throughout 9 rounds, the Cowboys have conceded solely three extra factors than the reigning premiers Penrith and are beginning to hearth in assault as nicely, scoring 30-plus factors in every of their final three video games.

Important checks await the Cowboys, although; later in Could, they’ll face each Melbourne and Penrith for the primary time this season.

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