Cronulla Sharks great Paul Gallen has shredded the North Queensland Cowboys’ spine amid their woeful start to the season.

Cronulla Sharks legend Paul Gallen has shredded the North Queensland Cowboys’ spine amid their woeful start to the season, which has seen Todd Payten’s men plummet to two losses from the first two rounds.

The Cowboys were pummeled 24-0 by 2020 grand finalists the Penrith Panthers in Round One, before falling to a 25-18 defeat to the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday.

But perhaps their biggest early-season issue is the fact their spine – made up of fullback Scott Drinkwater, halves Michael Morgan and Jake Clifford and hooker Reece Robson – has failed to fire.

“The Cowboys are in for a long season,” Gallen said on Wide World of Sports’ 100% Footy.

“I don’t know what they do about their spine. I think their spine is one of their weaknesses.

“Michael Morgan – everyone talks about his 2017 year. That was four years ago now. It’s a long time ago. I know his body’s let him down. Hopefully he can play well.

“But the other guys in that spine …

“They’re struggling for a hooker.

“Clifford – I haven’t seen enough of him and he’s played 40 or 50 games now, so they need more out of him. That’s for sure.

“And what do they do (with their fullback position)? Do they leave (Scott) Drinkwater at fullback or put Val (Holmes) there? I’m not too sure what they do.”

The Cowboys are now set to meet the Gold Coast Titans in Townsville on Sunday night.

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