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Cowboys vice-captain Glenn Hall believes a mix of wisdom and enthusiasm will see North Queensland through their long and tough road to the grand final.

"The last couple of years were lean but I think the Cowboys have recruited well bringing in some good youth and some experienced men," Hall said at the Captain's Call on Monday.

"It showed on the field this year and, given where we are here in the semis, we're pretty happy with our year so far.

"…Some of the guys, like Tate and Dallas, who've played semi-finals football know what it takes to win. 

"Hopefully that will rub off on the younger guys at training and their enthusiasm to play first time semi finals will come out."

Hall also warned Manly to expect some typical JT brilliance on Saturday night.

Thurston's confidence seemed shaken by his dramatic knee injury in Origin III but the skipper has vowed to shake things up in this finals series.

"I'm going to back him," Hall said.

"I've seen Jono do some pretty amazing things and as everyone knows, in big games Jono just competes."

"Any game, if you're up by 20 or down by 20, Jono's a competitor and I'm going to back him in."

The Cowboys struggled to find form late in the season, with Thurston's return failing to ignite them, but Hall says they are fired up to make the most of their finals berth.

"It wouldn't be our best finish. We started really well but Jono got injured and, while we actually went really well without Jono, as he's come back we've probably rested too much and put too much on his shoulders."

"But semi finals are this week and it's a totally different competition."

Despite the Cowboys' confidence, Hall said they were wary of getting ahead of themselves.

"We've got to beat everyone to win the grand final so this is just the first step."