Pressure mounts on Green after NRL rout

North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green after the Round 7 NRL match between the North Queensland Cowboys and the Newcastle Knights at QLD Country Bank Stadium in Townsville, Saturday, June 27, 2020. (AAP Image/Cameron Laird) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Pressure is mounting on North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green (pictured) after NRL rout (AAP Image/Cameron Laird)

Pressure is mounting on North Queensland coach Paul Green after Immortal Andrew Johns claimed their defence was "not up to NRL standard" in their 42-16 thrashing by an injury-hit Sydney Roosters.

Green admitted he would be considering team changes after they led 6-0 before conceding the next eight tries in Townsville on Thursday night.

But Johns believed Green should be the man under the most pressure after his team leaked 42 points for the second straight week to slump to their fifth loss in six matches.

Johns said the Cowboys' effort was "under-10s stuff" after the hosts missed 32 tackles, made 10 errors, and conceded 10 linebreaks.

"The defence is just not up to NRL standard," Johns told Nine Network.

"They look like they are in for a really long year. Some of the stuff...was under 10s stuff.

"I'm sure Paul Green will be really disappointed with that performance. The pressure now goes onto him."

Even Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston couldn't defend North Queensland who have now conceded 20 points or more in six straight games for the first time since 2010.

He described the second half as a "training run" for the Roosters who overcame the loss of winger Brett Morris (groin) in the warm-up and hooker Jake Friend (head knock) in the first stanza to romp home.

The Cowboys' cause was not helped when they lost star winger Valentine Holmes, who succumbed to a troublesome ankle injury and did not take part in the second half.

"There is quite a few of us clocking off at times particularly when we get under pressure," Green said.

"It's just a bit of confidence, trusting in each other and trusting in the system."

Asked if he could still bring the best out of his team this year, Green said: "Yes. (But) you can't talk about it, you've got to do it.

"So we have to work hard, be accountable, just fight a bit harder for each other when we are under a bit of pressure."

Green said players could also follow the lead of prop Josh McGuire who ran 199m, almost matching workaholic lock Jason Taumalolo (227m).

North Queensland's game was summed up when Kyle Feldt missed a chance to give the hosts an 8-0 lead with a 29th minute penalty kick by hitting the upright at point blank range.

The Roosters then overcame an error riddled first half to launch a blitz that included six tries in 21 minutes.

"There's plenty of reasons for me to make changes in the team," Green warned.

Green said the Cowboys would monitor Holmes who was in his second game back from an ankle injury that had sidelined him for a fortnight.

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