Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor was pleased with his side's final hit-out despite going down narrowly to a lacklustre North Queensland outfit 18-16 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
While the Cowboys got the result courtesy of a late sideline conversion from Johnathan Thurston, the Tigers controlled most of the game despite missing several key players.
Taylor said his side would take plenty of positives away after competing well with the full-strength Cowboys team.
"They made some mistakes and I think they would be pretty disappointed because they let the pressure off us a few times with some simple errors," Taylor said.
"I was really happy with how we defended when they attacked our line and I think we forced a few of those errors as well."
Star fullback James Tedesco showed no ill effects since breaking his jaw at the same ground last year and looked sharp at the back with some dangerous carries throughout his 60-minute stint on the field.
"I thought he did well, he looked dangerous right from the start of the game and he worked hard for the time he was out there," Taylor said.
"We got him off in the middle of the second half which was the plan."
There were no injury concerns to come out of the match for the Tigers, however a number of players are still racing the clock to be fit for the opening round of the season against South Sydney.
"There's a hamstring injury with Brooksy (Luke Brooks) and we wouldn't push him if he wasn't 100 per cent and it wasn't today. He's back training and heading in the right direction."
"Mitch (Moses) has got a sore foot which is only bone bruising and in the end it is something we can push so he'll just have to toughen up to get through it."
Cronulla recruit Matt McIllwrick did his chances of a club debut no harm with a solid showing in the No.9 jersey, as Matt Ballin (knee) and Jacob Liddle (shoulder) sat on the sidelines through injury.
"Matty was really good. We were looking for a strong performance from him, he tackled well and carried the ball well out of dummy half so that's good for him to get ready for Round 1."