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Cowboys five-eighth Scott Drinkwater.

Scott Drinkwater says Paul Green has been "awesome" for his development in the halves but there is one mantra from the coach that he will have ringing in his ears against the Eels this week.

The Cowboys five-eighth’s running, passing and general creativity has already caught the eye this season and Green is happy to let the confident 21-year-old play with instinct and flair.

Defence is another matter entirely and it is the one area that Green is constantly reinforcing with his No.6.

It is defensive clout  the Cowboys need to improve this season after already conceding 169 points in seven games.

"When Greeny talks I listen because not only is he the coach he was also very successful as a half in his time," Drinkwater told NRL.com ahead of Friday night's clash at Bankwest Stadium.

Green giving Holmes every chance to play

"He kind of lets me do my own thing in attack but wants me to focus on my defence. Greeny is always into me about making my tackles and working well with Coen Hess and my centre.

"He always lets us know that it is the best defensive team that normally wins the competition. It was a bit disappointing the way we let in four tries in the second half against Newcastle after we had defended so well in the first half.

"We are scoring points alright but letting a lot in, so that is something we need to fix.

"Overall, Greeny has been awesome for me and always gives me a hand about what to do in different situations, so when you go into games that is always in the back of your mind."

Match Highlights: Cowboys v Knights

Drinkwater made his debut for the Storm at fullback in 2018 and played his initial games at the Cowboys last year in the custodian’s role, but he was a star half as a youth at Terrigal High School and partnered Nathan Cleary in the halves for the Australian Schoolboys.

Drinkwater and Jake Clifford shone individually and combined superbly against the Knights last week in a 32-20 win. The both ran the ball for more than 100 metres and posed a threat each time they decided to take the line on.

"In previous games I think we were a bit guilty of standing behind our forwards and catching the ball off them instead of playing beyond the advantage line," Drinkwater said.

"Against the Knights both Jake and I ran the ball a lot more. We got the ball more off our dummy half [Reece] Robson and were going to the line as first receivers. It paid off for us.

“When you run the ball and get an early carry it gets in you in the game a lot more and I felt I was in the game from the start. I need to keep that up and keep running the ball.

"We definitely needed that performance against Newcastle after what we dished up [in a 36-20 loss] against the Tigers.

"We are not being too up ourselves or too arrogant because we are not where we want to be and haven’t performed consistently so far."