Cooper: Attention to detail key for Cowboys breaking into top eight

They knocked off a top-four side to rise to one win outside the top eight and Gavin Cooper is confident the Cowboys can upset another NRL heavyweight on Saturday with attention to detail.

Cooper said the key to their 15-12 win over the Sydney Roosters last Sunday was "all the small efforts" and it would again be crucial against the second-placed Rabbitohs in Townsville.

"We spoke about it in the week leading into the Roosters. You have to go out there and beat them as a team," he said.

"I think we showed, 1-17, that everybody just did their job and that's what we’re going to need this weekend and for the rest of the year."

North Queensland's finals aspirations hinge on finding consistent form with 10 teams separated by six competition points in the logjam in the middle of the Telstra Premiership ladder.

"Take out the month of footy before the Roosters, we weren't too flash in a lot of areas," he said.

"The month before that we had three wins on the trot, so if we can get back to that sort of consistent effort, that will keep us in games."

Cooper celebrated his 300th game in style with the win over the Roosters but the humble forward deflected the attention to the team: "It was a great week last week. Lots went on but the main thing was us winning."

Former Cowboys second-rower Ethan Lowe returns to his old stomping ground off the back of a solid performance on debut for Queensland in the Origin series decider, but Cooper doesn’t expect him to take the field with a point to prove despite his abrupt exit from the club in the pre-season.

"Probably not, knowing Lowey. He doesn't let too much phase him. He's pretty cool, calm and collected. I think you saw that in his Origin debut. I know he always goes out and puts his best foot forward but we're marking him this week with Sam Burgess being out so it'll be a tough job no matter what."

The Rabbitohs will welcome back Damien Cook and Dane Gagai after having a week off, Cooper wary of those Origin stars being back in club land.

Fullback Scott Drinkwater enjoyed his first win for the club last week following his mid-season switch from Melbourne.

"I’m just thinking about doing my job for the team for the rest of the year," he said.

"I just want to play consistent footy at fullback, bring the ball back, kick returns hard, get the ball on the full, be in position at the right time and not overplay my hand too much."

Saturday's match will be Matt Scott's first outing since the Cowboys legend announced he would be retiring at the end of the season.