Veteran Wests Tigers prop Keith Galloway admits he has to be better, with his club missing Aaron Woods and Robbie Farah to New South Wales Origin duty.
Despite racking up 123 metres and 23.7 tackles per game in his nine matches this season, the 29-year-old insists he needs to lift to fill the void left by the Blues premier prop Woods who is averaging 78.6 metres and almost nine tackles more than Galloway.
A recent shoulder injury may have slowed him down slightly, but Galloway believes he's been "around long enough" in the NRL to overcome and reverse what he perceives as poor form.
"I've been struggling the past few weeks; I had a few weeks out with a shoulder injury so I just have to keep improving. I don't think the shoulder is hindering me, I just have to build back into it," Galloway told NRL.com.
"I've been around long enough to know how to deal with things like this so I know what I have to do to return to form. I have to lift big time because you know Woodsy does a tonne of the work and his work rate is phenomenal.
"We aren't sitting too high on the ladder either, so we have to get some wins. It's going to be tough on Saturday night but hopefully we can do enough."
Partnering rookie prop Matt Lodge this weekend against a North Queensland team missing first string front-rowers James Tamou and Matt Scott, Galloway said the club's defence is a huge reason for their string of poor form with the Tigers having lost six of their past eight games.
Putting the onus on the middle defenders, including himself and this weekend's captain and hooker Dene Halatau, Galloway said the club's lack of opportunities in the halves and backs is a result of the forwards failure to control the ruck.
"Defence is definitely a bit of an issue, it starts from the middle not being able to control the ruck and then the forward pack battle. We haven't been too good at that lately so it's definitely something we need to work on and rectify this weekend," Galloway said.
"If we just learn to do that then we will provide our halves and backs some good ball to play with. [The Cowboys] are a good team and they're going to be missing some really good players but so are we. We're coming up against a really good team so it'll be a tough battle out there on the weekend."