Green savours "proud moment" for victorious Cowboys
North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green said his side would savour "a proud moment in our club's history" following their emphatic World Club Challenge victory over Leeds Rhinos.
The Cowboys were more than matched by the injury-hit Super League champions in Sunday's first half at Headingley, but turned on the style after the interval - running in 34 unanswered points to triumph 38-4.
As a result, Johnathan Thurston and Co have another notable item of silverware to add to last season's maiden NRL premiership.
A delighted Green said: "A lot was spoken about the players that were out for Leeds, but I knew they'd turn up and start physically, which is what they did, so I was really proud of the way we hung in there and in particular controlled the second half.
"The game was still ebbing and flowing leading into half-time, but once we got our nose in front in the second half I thought we controlled things really well.
"There's certainly improvement there, but tonight was about winning a championship, so we got the job done from that respect.
"We'll have a look at the game after tonight and start getting our heads around the NRL season, but we just want to enjoy the moment for now.
"We won our first NRL premiership last year and you've got to do that to get this opportunity. We spoke about that through the week and the boys made the most of their opportunities. It will go down as a proud moment in our club's history. It's important that we enjoy the moment."
Green made light of Mitch Garbutt's punch on James Tamou, which resulted in the Rhinos forward being sent off in the closing stages.
Tamou caught Keith Galloway with a relatively weak slap - enough to earn a yellow card - but was then flattened as Garbutt replied with considerably more force.
Asked what he thought of the punch, Green replied with a smile: "It was a punch, it was a pretty good one actually!
"I think back home with the no-punch rule, guys, when someone actually throws one they're probably not expecting it. There's normally a bit of push and shove, so it got a bit willing after that, a bit of old school."
Asked if Tamou was ok, the Cowboys coach said: "Yeah, his nose is a bit wider, that's all. He probably can't afford to have that happen."