North Queensland Cowboys prop Francis Molo has gained extra appreciation during his time away from the game. Picture: Alix Sweeney
North Queensland Cowboys prop Francis Molo has gained extra appreciation during his time away from the game. Picture: Alix Sweeney

How hiatus gave Cowboys star a profound appreciation

TIME off the field has enlightened Francis Molo.

The Cowboys prop admits that prior to the coronavirus pandemic he could be guilty of taking the little things for granted.

Not anymore.

Typically at this time of year Molo is scattered across the country. Throughout the week, he is constantly heading back and forward from Cowboys HQ.

Having had the opportunity to be with his family when he normally would not, those insights have given him a profound appreciation.

Cowboys v Broncos NRL trial game at Barlow Park. Cowboys' Francis Molo. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
Cowboys v Broncos NRL trial game at Barlow Park. Cowboys' Francis Molo. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"The little thing like helping around the house and seeing how much my partner does at home, you don't realise how much they do before you put on their shoes," Molo said.

"It made me really appreciate her more and spending time with the kids was really good.

"There wasn't much else to do, all we did was train and for me to keep eating properly was a big thing.

"I got into a routine with training, eating properly and looking after the little ones at home."

As the NRL season relaunch approaches anticipation is abuzz throughout the North Queensland squad, and Molo is no different.

With their round three return against the Gold Coast Titans on May 29 will come a host of rule changes - one referee, and a new 'six again' call regarding ruck infringements.

And after ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys declared last week he would seek to reduce the number of interchanges from next season further changes are afoot.

NRL; North Queensland Cowboys training at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Francis Molo. Picture: Alix Sweeney
NRL; North Queensland Cowboys training at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Francis Molo. Picture: Alix Sweeney

But for Molo the looming decisions do little to how he approaches a contest.

As an impact bench forward his motive is to get on the field at full throttle and provide the injection of life his team needs at various stages of a game.

While he may be expected to churn out more minutes should the reduction of substitutions occur, Molo said he would simply adapt and rise to the occasion.

But even as he seeks to get a contract renewal - one that expires at the end of the year - his mentality remains on a week-to-week basis and building on the momentum he had prior to the 2020 season's hibernation.

North Queensland Cowboys training at Townsville Football Stadium. Francis Molo. Picture: Evan Morgan
North Queensland Cowboys training at Townsville Football Stadium. Francis Molo. Picture: Evan Morgan

"It would be a challenge, especially for the bigger boys. It would be one I'm willing to accept … it would definitely be a big change across all clubs but especially us bigger boys," Molo said.

"If it comes to that we'll have to adapt, adapt our training sessions and the way we play.

"I definitely want to pick up where I left off in those first two rounds, keep working on my game and don't over complicate it.

"There are things I can't control but there are things I can control on the field and training paddock.

"That's all on my mind … as long as I know I'm giving 100 per cent there I know things will look after themselves."

Originally published as How hiatus gave Cowboys star a profound appreciation


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