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Cowboys insist Bolton will play
AUGUST 07, 2018
THE Cowboys insist Scott Bolton will play in Thursday night’s blockbuster against Brisbane at 1300SMILES Stadium, despite indecent assault charges against him due to be heard in Sydney tomorrow morning.
Although the forward didn’t train today, Cowboys coach Paul Green simply answered “yes” when asked if he would take the field against the Broncos.
Police allege Bolton indecently assaulted a 49-year-old woman at a Bondi pub on May 5, the day after the Cowboys played Penrith in Bathurst.
The matter was adjourned on June 19 in Waverley Local Court.
Fellow Cowboys prop Matt Scott said Bolton would be a loss if he doesn’t play. The Broncos will be without lock Josh McGuire through suspension and likely Tevita Pangai (hamstring/groin) after he was dropped to the reserves list yesterday.
“He does a great job for us and has been one of our most inconsistent all year,” Scott said.
“It would be a big loss if he doesn’t play, but I’m expecting him to play.”
Winger Gideon Gela-Mosby trained with the main squad yesterday and is a chance for an NRL recall against the Broncos after he was named on the Cowboys’ reserves list.
The 21-year-old was last month temporarily stood down by the club after he was charged for unlicensed driving. However he has been in strong form for Northern Pride and the Cowboys have also been impressed with his improvements off the field.
If he does play his first NRL game since round seven last year, centre Enari Tuala looms as the casualty.
The defence of the Cowboys’ young right edge, featuring Tuala and half Jake Clifford, was exposed by the Roosters, which could prompt a reshuffle.
“He’s got his act together off the field, and that’s where his challenge is,” Green said.
“He’s putting it together on the field, he has plenty of potency and speed. You want to let them know they’re not far away.”
Forward Shaun Fensom has been ruled out for the Cowboys after he failed a concussion test in last week’s 26-20 loss to the Roosters on Saturday.
NRL guidelines stipulate a player unable to return to the field after a head knock must wait six days before being cleared to play again.
The Cowboys are equal last on the ladder with Parramatta with four rounds left, and are desperately trying to avoid being lumped with the wooden spoon in Johnathan Thurston’s final season.
“Defensively we let in a few soft tries (against the Roosters). I think our right edge got worked over a little bit and a bit of inexperience showed through,” Scott said.
“Obviously no one wants to get the spoon. We’re not talking about it too much at the moment, it’s about trying to finish the year off strongly.
“In JT’s last year, no one wanted to send him out the way we have, it would be nice to get a few wins before the end of the year.”
Townsville product Gehamat Shibasaki will make his NRL debut for Brisbane after he was named in the centres.