All off-season talk about North Queensland has been on retired legend Johnathan Thurston's absence, but it seems everyone has forgotten about the other "JT".
Jason Taumalolo was unstoppable against St George Illawarra on Saturday night in the Cowboys' 24-12 season-opening victory in Townsville, the lock running for 286 metres and playing a pivotal role in two tries.
The Dragons looked the more settled side early and scored the first try in a dour opening half before "JT" took over.
The Tongan captain hit holes, made offloads for fun and looked like a man among children against the shell-shocked Dragons.
Second-half tries to Michael Morgan and Te Maire Martin were directly off the back of the hulking forward - Morgan's via a perfectly timed offload, Martin the beneficiary of a 40m run in which Taumalolo broke through three tackles.
"He was very good very good, as always," said Cowboys coach Paul Green.
"We kept pressure on them through the middle through that ... he's a pretty handy player."
Captain Morgan looked calm in his new leadership role and laid on a pinpoint grubber for Justin O'Neill to ice the game.
The main concern for Green will be a high first-half shot from off-season recruit Josh McGuire which will be scrutinised by the match review committee.
Mcguire was impressive for his new club after a late switch brought the ex-Brisbane forward into the starting side.
The Queensland State of Origin player complimented Taumalolo, setting the platform with 154 metres and making 29 tackles.
For St George, youngster Mikaela Ravalawa was one bright light on a night to forget.
The 21-year-old Fijian winger broke 10 tackles and powered through 60 metres post-contact, proving a constant headache for the North Queensland defence.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor refused to blame the loss on the ongoing Jack De Belin saga.
"Not at all - Jack was never in our plans to play this week," McGregor told AAP.
"No one can replace Jack, but that is what we are doing and we'll keep on going with it."
The Cowboys take on Brisbane on Friday while the Dragons have only a five-day turnaround before Thursday night's battle with South Sydney.