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North Queensland's inability to land the killer blow, be it with the ball in hand or when defending in numbers, saw them crash to an 18-8 defeat against a determined Canberra on Saturday night.

While the hosts controlled the ball better than last week versus the Titans, with a 79 per cent completion rate, they couldn't turn it into points.

"We didn't get beaten by brilliant footy, it was pretty simple stuff... missed an assignment, got a quick play the ball, they (Raiders) crashed over," a deflated coach Paul Green said.

"It's disappointing, but you find when you're kind of struggling as a team to find your rhythm all those little things become a lot harder for you."

While it was the final passes that weren't sticking, Green says it's a symptom of a greater issue within the team, and it is unfair to lump the blame on his halves, Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston.

"I don't think it's fair to put it all on those two, I think if you look across the park we just haven't really found our rhythm as a team for long enough periods yet,'' he said.

"We've been good in patches, but again tonight we start the second half at 12 from thirteen sets completed... but then we finish the half one from seven.

Cowboys hooker Jake Granville.
Cowboys hooker Jake Granville. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"They were just clinging on and we got plenty of opportunities in that second half but we just couldn't throw the knock-out punch."

Green has put his side's difficulties in attack down to poor confidence, but admitted they simply didn't do enough against the Raiders.

"When you're sort of struggling for from or confidence it's amazing just how many of those plays are just off the mark," he said.

"It takes a lot to fight your way out of that and I think that was probably the case there tonight."

Cowboys press conference - Round 8

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