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It will be built up by the media as a belated chance for revenge; the opportunity to strike a blow for the injustice done to them in the 2013 Elimination Final in Sydney.

But for Cowboys back-rower Gavin Cooper, his side's Round 19 showdown with the Sharks in Sydney is just another shot at getting one over some old friends.

In perhaps what is an indication of life as a modern footballer, Cooper now has more former Panthers teammates playing at the Sharks than there are at Penrith. In his time as a Panther between 2009-2010, Cooper played alongside Luke Lewis, Wade Graham and Michael Gordon but insists their semi-final exit won't provide any extra motivation when the sides meet on Friday, July 18.

"I think it will be for the media," said Cooper on the anticipation around a Cowboys-Sharks match-up. "It wasn't the Sharks' decision that pushed us out of the finals. That's my view of it, but I'm sure everyone will beef it up a little bit, saying we owe them one.

"There are a few big teams – and a couple that you probably wouldn't expect to be the big crowd-pullers up here. Melbourne is definitely one because we're close to Billy Slater's home town and there is always a lot of interest in Melbourne, being one of the better teams in the comp for a long time.

"Brisbane's the big one because obviously before the Cowboys were in the comp every Queenslander was a Broncos fan. We're trying to sway that a little bit but we've still got a little way to go."

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