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Test and Origin teammates Matt Scott and Sam Thaiday go head-to-head on Friday night.

It's the Queensland equivalent of Country v City and when the Cowboys ride into the big smoke on Friday for their Qualifying Final against the Broncos on Saturday night state supremacy will go on the line.

For the first time in four years the Broncos have finished the regular season ahead of North Queensland on the Telstra Premiership ladder and in that time the balance of power has shifted.


The Cowboys were responsible for bringing an end to big brother Brisbane's seasons in 2012 and 2014 and have won three of the past four encounters between the two great rivals.

Their recent record at Suncorp reads at a worrying 0-3 but Broncos forward Sam Thaiday – a Cowboys fan as a kid – says Brisbane must win on Saturday night in order to win back their claim as the kings of Queensland.

"Over the last couple of years they've pushed further into the finals, they've had a lot more success than us as a team but that's something we'd like to turn around," Thaiday conceded.

"With the coaching staff we've got here and with the players we've got here hopefully we can take a step forward in changing that this weekend.

"We've had a great rivalry with the Cowboys for many years now but I think throughout the semi-finals as well. The last couple of times they've pipped us at the post so that's only added fuel to the fire of the rivalry.

"You have to be excited to play the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium and it's semi-final football, you've got to be pumped and ready to go."

Having been domiciled in Wollongong and Newcastle for the past six years Brisbane fullback Darius Boyd has been somewhat insulated from the Queensland power shift but says in his mind, the Broncos will always be top dog.

"Sammy's been here his whole career so it's something that he knows a bit more about with their win-loss record but for me, when I think of Queensland I always think of the Broncos as No.1," Boyd said.

"It's always exciting to play a local derby, especially in a final. It's probably going to bring the best out in the crowd but personally it doesn't make much difference to me.

"You've got to get the job done and play your best and win the game, that's the ultimate goal."

There are eight members of this year's successful Queensland Origin squad spread across the two teams named to play on Saturday which only adds further motivation according to Thaiday.

"I've got a lot of great mates in that Cowboys team and when you play your mates you always want to play better and you always want to beat them so you can rub it in after the game," said the 30-year-old veteran of 227 games for the Broncos.

"I'll be making sure I go out there and do my job and put in a great effort so I can have a bit of a chin-wag and a joke and a laugh with the boys afterwards.

"It's a game I always look forward to every year whenever we play the Cowboys, whether it's here in Brisbane or up there in Townsville and this just seems to be the next level.

"They're always going to be fired up to play us, because of that rivalry. They're going to be just as pumped as us so it's going to be whoever's going to jump out of the gate and hold on for the longest period of time that's going to win the game."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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