Cooper Cronk of the Roosters and Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys hug after the match during the Round 21 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, August 4, 2018. (AAP Image/Craig Golding) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Cooper Cronk of the Roosters and Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys hug after the match during the Round 21 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the North Queensland Cowboys at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, August 4, 2018. (AAP Image/Craig Golding) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Roosters add more class to JT farewell tour

COWBOYS coach Paul Green has praised the Roosters for their classy post-match send-off to Johnathan Thurston, with Roosters mentor Trent Robinson comparing the halfback's legacy to club great Artie Beetson.

With his team trailing 26-8 in his last game at Allianz Stadium, Thurston helped inspire a comeback which fell just short against a genuine premiership contender.

It means the Cowboys enter the final month of the season equal last with Parramatta, with only a slightly superior for and against saving them from being bottom.

While it may not be the farewell Thurston deserves, rival teams taking it upon themselves to say goodbye in their own way has become commonplace in recent weeks.

The Roosters gave Thurston a guard of honour after their 26-20 win, and handed him the match ball afterwards.

"It shows a bit of class of them as a club. They care about the game and show a lot of respect for people who have done plenty in the game," Green said.

"It was a touching way to show their respect.

"It's a funny one, you can have a battle in the game and afterwards you show your respects. It is nice to see clubs do that."

Robinson handed Thurston the game ball before he left the field for the final time.

"I said to him we were fortunate enough to have a guy called Artie Beetson at our club, who left such a big impact on the game, our club, and Australia, when it came to the first indigenous captain," Robinson said.

"JT's left a similar legacy to Artie Beetson.

"That's the biggest rap I can give him, and we didn't want to let that pass."

The Cowboys looked in danger of falling below the Eels as the Roosters piled on two quick tries in the second half.

But Thurston and Taumalolo inspired a rally which saw them fall just short of pulling off one of the year's biggest upsets.

"There was plenty of reasons to do that (give up) but we fought our way back, and we had a couple of chances at the end where had we capitalised, it might have been a different result," Green said.

"We've probably been guilty of clocking off in the back end of games once they've got a handy lead. But we played good footy at the back end of the game.

"There's been plenty of game like this, we can't put it together in defence and attack.

"It's frustrating because we know it's there, but disappointing also."



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