Wellington co-coach Justin Toomey-White says his side isn't crumbling under the weight of expectation in 2019 rather a host of new faces are taking time to gel as the Cowboys shoot for a drought-breaking title.
The Cowboys showed glimpses of what they'll be capable of this season in a stunning 40-minute period on Sunday at Parkes, skipping out to a 24-6 lead on the back of some Josh Griffiths brilliance at Pioneer Oval.
But the Cowboys stumbled in the second stanza.
Ill-discipline crept into their game - the visiting Wellington club found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-2 penalty count in the second half - and allowed Parkes back into the contest, an invitation Chad Porter accepted on route to a stunning 25-24 victory.
On the back of a great 2018 and the recruitment of some serious gems, the Cowboys were backed to figure in top two calculations this winter and perhaps end a premiership drought spanning 25 years.
Back-to-back losses to kick-off the 2019 season is far from ideal, Toomey-White concedes that, but there's no panic stations at this stage.
"There's no excuses for (letting Parkes back into the game)," the Cowboys mentor said.
We're a new squad and we'll get back to it and work together for better things.Wellington co-coach Justin Toomey-White.
"Any loss is tough it doesn't matter when."
He said the Cowboys squad wasn't buying into the hype surrounding the title credentials in the lead-up to the premiership's opening round.
"That talk's not coming from our camp, that's what other people say," Toomey-White said, the loss to Parkes following a 12-10 loss to Dubbo CYMS.
"We're a new squad and we'll get back to it and work together for better things.
"We'll get back to training. We've got Westside at home (in round three). It's round two, we've got a new squad and we'll it get together and build some momentum."
One of the shining lights in Wellington's opening to the 2019 season has been Griffiths, the former Maitland Pumpkin Picker starring for his new club on Sunday.
"He's a great find," Toomey-White enthused.
"He works hard on his game and he's a great addition to the squad.
"His chat at the back is key, he's keeping the middles honest in defence. We've got a good squad but we'll get back to training and keep working hard."
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