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Old Cowboy Cooper has no intention of riding out of Townsville

Gavin Cooper is hoping no one thinks because he's 33 years old and played his 300th NRL game on Sunday that he's thinking of swapping his footy boots and socks for a pipe and slippers.

Cooper joined Melbourne 400-gamer Cameron Smith in celebrating a major milestone game with a win on the weekend.

"And he's 36 years old," Cooper slipped in quickly, realising that when people see these type of figures the next question is usually, "When are you retiring?"

"Definitely not interested in that yet," Cooper told after the Cowboys rolled premiers Sydney Roosters 15-12 at Gosford on Sunday.

"I'm still enjoying what I'm doing; still enjoy turning up to training; my body is still OK. So I'm going to keep looking forward."

Benji Marshall failed to complete the trifecta for the milestone men with the Wests Tigers losing to Parramatta in his 300th appearance

Cooper joins a handful of North Queensland first-graders looking for new deals in 2020, including Scott Bolton, Te Maire Martin, Ben Hampton, Kurt Baptiste and Jordan Kahu.

Match Highlights: Roosters v Cowboys

But rather than think too much of his future, the immediate horizon is now basking in the after-glow of being only the second North Queensland player to reach 200. The first was his best mate Johnathan Thurston.

"It's pretty cool. Coming from humble beginnings, a little country town called Murgon with about 2000 people in it, to here is a special journey," Cooper said.

"I've been lucky being part of some great teams, which brought me great individual success.

"A lot of fond memories so far but I'm not washed up yet. Hopefully a few more good memories to come."

While the Cowboys farewelled Thurston at the end of last year, Cooper said the green shoots were starting to poke through in players like halfback Jake Clifford. He scored a try, kicked the winning field goal and penalty – all with neither Thurston or Michael Morgan (concussion) by his side.

Clifford, 21, sent the football thundering through the goal posts from nearly 40 metres out in his winning field goal.

"He does have a big boot on him," Cooper said.

"For a kid with no arse, he does generate a lot of power. He's got great composure and a lot's been expected of him in a team which has had a lot of comings and goings.

"He was one of the best out on the field for us and he's been learning off one of the best in JT last year.

"So I'm seeing some of that privilege coming through now. He's keeping a cool head and he'll have to because the halves are always under the microscope no matter what is going on.

"To see what he did after our last month of footy is pretty special. So to get the win after a rough run and to come on my 300th is quite surreal. But I think some of the close losses we've had have tested the character of the group and we're better for it.

Looking back at the best of Gavin Cooper ahead of his 300th

"We just beat a top-four side, the premiers. And yes, I know they rested a couple of their top players but that doesn't take away anything from what we did today.

"We played a tough game of footy, defended well, and we deserved those two competition points."

Another top-four side – the South Sydney Rabbitohs – are heading north on Saturday to play the rejuvenated Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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