Tackle Count: The curious case of Paul Green and the Cowboys

FAREWELL: Paul Green quit as North Queensland's coach this week. Picture: Dave Acree/NRL Imagery
FAREWELL: Paul Green quit as North Queensland's coach this week. Picture: Dave Acree/NRL Imagery

Did Green make the right call to walk?

We are halfway through the season and 2020 has claimed another coaching casualty.

All three have departed in the past month.

Despite having more one year remaining on his contract, Paul Green stepped away from the Cowboys after they "mutually agreed" to part ways on Monday.

The announcement came less than a week after Dean Pay quit as Bulldogs coach, while Stephen Kearney was shown the door at the Warriors in June.

Green departed just a day after North Queensland fell 22-10 to premiership contenders Penrith.

"I will take some time, take a break and clear my head and decide what is next," he said.

"While my time coaching the Cowboys has come to an end, my time as a head coach has not - I'll be looking for an opportunity at some stage."

Green had been at the helm since 2014, coaching the Cowboys to the NRL premiership a year later. He also led North Queensland to the 2017 grand final.

However, speculation has grown about Green's position after the Cowboy missed the past two finals series, finishing 13th and 14th respectively.

Despite the 2020 roster boasting the likes of James Taumalolo and Valentine Holmes, the side - like their fellow Queensland rivals - have struggled to get going in 2020.

As they currently sit in 12th position, it does beg the question - why does the coach always shoulder the blame for a struggling team? And shouldn't the players start to feel the heat instead?

"Every time we went through a down period, the first thing people wanted to talk about was my position," Green said. "That's now taken off the table and the club can have some clear air and focus on what they need in order to improve and get back into the winner's circle."

Elsewhere, the old rivalry will be reignited when the Sharks host St George Illawarra. With both teams fighting for a spot in the top eight, there will be no shortage of drama on Saturday.

The last time Matt Dufty faced Cronulla he scored a try and laid on two others in a 30-16 win that ignited the Dragons' season. Dufty's performance came after he was assigned to ballboy duties the previous week. Now, Dufty has scored five more tries and the Red V is eyeing off their third straight win.

A number of subplots will feature this week. Can the Raiders build on last week's upset win over the Roosters? Will the return of Kotoni Staggs fire up Brisbane? And will the Bulldogs be inspired after signing Trent Barrett when they travel to Newcastle?

The round kicks off tonight with a top eight battle as the Eels host the Tigers. Buckle up for another interesting start to the round.

* This edition of Tackle Count was written by Joshua Bartlett.

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This story The curious case of Paul Green and the Cowboys first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.