Nines costs Cowboys dearly

The Auckland Nines have proved costly for the North Queensland Cowboys with Lachlan Coote's knee injury ruling the star fullback out of National Rugby League action for at least six months.

In a tough setback for the club's key off-season recruit, scans have revealed Coote ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee early on the tournament's first day, and his best hope for a return would be for the latter rounds of the NRL season and the finals.

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