Taumalolo admits he takes it easy on teammates in training

Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo is tackled in a game against the Titans this year.
Cowboys forward Jason Taumalolo is tackled in a game against the Titans this year. MICHAEL CHAMBERS

IT'S the unwritten pact the envy of every rival forward in the NRL.

Cowboys talisman Jason Taumalolo has confirmed he has a "gentlemen's agreement" with his fellow North Queensland forwards where he triggers the mercy rule in contact drills at training.

The Dally M Medallist's devastating runs leave rivals scattered in his wake but on the training paddock, his teammates are spared of the carnage.

"I look after the boys a bit," Taumalolo said.

"Obviously I know I'm twice the size of a few of the boys here, so we have a gentlemen's agreement the boys like to make with me, and I'm more than happy to take it.

"I roll over for them but sometimes I get caught out by the coaches not running or tackling hard enough.

"I overexaggerate it a bit so it makes the other boys look good.

"In times like that the boys don't like getting too physical and I tend to help them out."

The Cowboys hierarchy is surely willing to give the 24-year-old some wiggle room at training given the workload he has shouldered this year.

Without the injured Matt Scott to give him a "tap out", Taumalolo has been targeted even more heavily.

But he has still managed to go to the next level in averaging a league-best 205 metres per game.

He said his ability to handle the heat as rival forwards adopt a pack mentality to quelling his dominance was between the ears.

"It's pretty much a natural progression, but most of all I've become a lot tougher mentally," Taumalolo said.

"Early in my career I wasn't used to the physicality and speed of the game, and mentally I've definitely become stronger, which has helped me play more minutes."

Topics:  jason taumalolo north queensland cowboys

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