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Tyson Gamble and Anthony Milford are winning the race to be coach Kevin Walters' halves combination for the foreseeable future.

 It's only been two games with the pair in charge but it was nearly back-to-back wins for the Broncos as they slipped by a point, 19-18, to the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.

"For 79 minutes of the game we were the better team, I think everyone saw that at the stadium," Walter said, after Cowboys fullback Val Holmes landed a 25-metre field goal in the final minutes to get the result.

As far as a firm halves partnership, which has been an ongoing saga at Red Hill, Walters wants Gamble-Milford to continue.

"They have settled really well together. Tyson has really stepped up in the last two weeks and Milf is probably playing his best football too for some time," Walters said.

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"So right now we'll stick with them and stay solid."

Walters also praised the defence and dominance of his forwards.

"We got some good metres through the middle and Payne (Haas) has been our best player all year so no surprise there with his form ... he's a good one."

The news might not be so rosy for skipper Patrick Carrigan, who went off in the 53rd minute with a knee injury.

"I haven't had a chance to chat with the doctor, but he's not in too good a shape I would have thought," Walters said.

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"The effort and commitment from our players tonight was outstanding ... probably the best it's been, well, since last week," he said referring to the miraculous 36-28 win over the Titans coming from 22-0 down.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get the win tonight but they don't look far away from cracking this open and getting some wins.

"The ability we have sitting in that dressing room, well I believe in them but I don't think they quite believe in themselves just yet," Walters said.

"I'm the third coach in three years to be standing in front of them, so they're still adjusting a little to that. But I'm really proud of them.

"This team is going places. I can see the improvement in them."

After signing Kotoni Staggs during the week until 2025, winger Xavier Coates looks like another priority that Walters wants to keep. He scored a try, ran for 134 metres and had two line breaks against the Cowboys.

"He's a good young Queensland kid and we want him at a good young Queensland club," Walters said.

"He showed good maturity tonight and actually showed his class in a lot of areas in defence and attack. He's another good one we want to hang on to," Walters said.

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