Follow the leaders, says Green
A lot has been made this year of rookie coach Paul Green's leadership from the coach's box, but the North Queensland mentor has given his stamp of approval to his on-field leaders.
While the Cowboys have run with co-captains Johnathan Thurston and Matt Scott since 2011, it has been widely considered Thurston's team until this year.
Back in May, Scott's partnering prop James Tamou told NRL.com that he had noticed a difference in Scott's work off the field, noting more verbal instruction.
And Green says he is the perfect foil for Thurston in the club's hunt for a maiden premiership.
"I think [Thurston and Scott] complement each other really well. They are both very different obviously playing-wise; one's a halfback, one's a front-rower...but in terms of their composure and their demeanour on the field I think they do a really good job complementing each other," Green said Tuesday.
"Johnno's fiery, competitive, fairly emotional whereas Matt is probably a little bit more calm and composed in his own way. You probably wouldn't describe a front-rower as being calm and composed but in the way he goes about doing his job, he's very good for the team in that respect."
That consistency is also evident in team selections, with the side listed as 1-17 for the past three consecutive weeks, which Green says enhances his side's preparation for their Elimination Final with the Broncos.
"It's nice to name the same team. I think we've been playing fairly consistently the last couple of weeks, so it's just about going up a notch now for the finals," he said.
"It didn't really worry me who we were playing. I look forward to it; I think it's going to be a huge night up here. Traditionally (Broncos games are) always our biggest crowd and for that to be a Finals Series game adds a little bit extra to it. I'm sure the locals will get out in force."
And that they will. The ticket frenzy is inevitable when the Broncos come to town, proven earlier this year when more than 21,000 attended in Round 9 during a losing run for the club.
The Cowboys have only ever registered two full sell-outs and this Saturday is on track to be the third.
"Around town there's a bit more of a buzz [than usual]. I've been getting the odd stranger wishing me all the best which is nice but I think they certainly love their footy up here and now that we're coming in to semi-final time, everyone is getting a bit more excited about it. We're expecting pretty close to a full house so it should be a great night," Green said.
"It's important to enjoy [the moment] but you can't let it distract you from what's really important and that's preparing for a tough game of footy. The Broncos will be coming up here with nothing to lose. Many people expected them not to make the finals so I'm sure they're keen to prove everyone else wrong."
As the eighth-placed team that scraped in on for-and-against Brisbane will come all guns blazing with less to lose, but Green tried to deflect the pressure off his men, refuting that one side will be more desperate than the other.
"We're in the same boat. We've got nothing to lose there, we will be just as desperate," he said.
"Either way we're going to have a tough game on our hands and you don't want to ignore that because everyone is a bit excited. It's a different game, it's not just a normal round game and you want to enjoy that experience but at the same time make sure you get the best preparation possible."