Green: Asiata the right man for the job

John Asiata wasn’t the first name most NRL experts and fans would have thought of as the man to replace future Immortal Johnathan Thurston at half-back – but Paul Green knew the 104kg lock was his man.

Asiata emerged as an NRL superstar - and made Green look like a genius - after filling in for the injured Thurston in North Quensland’s 28-22 loss to St George Illawarra.

Green’s injury-ravaged club trailed 28-4 at the break before Asiata put the Cowboys on his broad shoulders and set Twitter alight.

The big fella set up two tries and pulled out a kicking game any top half-back would be proud of to almost orchestrate an unlikely win over the in-form Dragons.

“He did a really good job there in the halves,” Green said of his big back-rower.

“… Once we worked out what game we could play to be effective I thought John would be able to execute that well given the skillset that he’s got, and I thought he did that tonight.

“For him that was a learning curve as well, playing in the halves at NRL level, it’s a big ask when you’ve come from playing lock most of your NRL career.

“I’m really pleased with the effort and the job he did for us tonight.”

Green conceded not even Thurston ‘would have made much difference in that first half’ as the ladder-leading Dragons ran riot.

But Green remains steadfast in his belief the Cowboys can come out the other side of their injury crisis and be genuine finals contenders come September.

“Very confident, we’ll be right,” he said.

“We’re just having a rough period at the moment.

“Teams go through it, you don’t know when it’s going to be but ours is now.”