• A win against Manly will guarantee the Cowboys a home final but when and against whom won’t be known when the players walk off the field on Saturday night. There are plenty of scenarios for North Queensland heading into round 26, but the best one is a Cowboys win combined with a Penrith loss that would lift our team into fourth place on the ladder and the chance of a home preliminary final if we beat the minor premiers in week one of the finals series. The worst case scenario is seventh place, and no home final, which would be the outcome if we lost to Manly and there were wins by Melbourne against Brisbane and Canterbury against the Gold Coast. If the Cowboys finish fifth (our current position) or sixth, there will be a finals match at 1300SMILES Stadium next week on a day to be advised this Sunday evening once the Penrith v Warriors clash is complete.

• Brent Tate went back to a familiar place at Cowboys HQ following his retirement media coverage and photo session on Wednesday. Off came the suit and on came some more comfortable clothes, as he jumped on to the physio table for another rehab session with Steve Sartori. The duo have spent hours together during Tatey’s four seasons in North Queensland.

• Tatey will take a lap of honour on the back of a Toyota ute prior to kick off on Saturday night. If you want to see him, make sure you’re at the ground by 7.15pm. He’ll also be sideline commentator for the Cowboys Call Team so he’s in for a busy night.

• There was plenty of Tatey coverage in today’s Townsville Bulletin, which had our retiring champ on the front and back pages as well as three pages inside. The Bulletin will print a special Brent Tate poster in Saturday’s edition which will also include the Go Cowboys liftout with all the info on the round 26 clash with Manly.

• The Northern Pride will be venturing south to spend a day in Townsville on Saturday. As well as having an afternoon training run, the Intrust Super Cup minor premiers will be special guests at the Cowboys v Manly clash. “We’ll be able to train with our Cowboys players and make sure we're getting everything right,” coach Jason Demetriou said. The Pride’s next match will be a semi-final against either Easts or Wynnum-Manly with the winner being the first team into this year’s grand final.

• Ricky Thorby is starting to run into some good form for the Pride just in time for the finals series. He had 142 metres in 11 carries against Burleigh on Sunday to be the leading forward on the field.

• If you missed Johnathan Thurston showcasing his trickshot talents in Wednesday night’s WIN News Locker Room segment, you’ll get a second chance to have a look on Saturday night. It will feature as part of the pre-game show.

• Last week’s NRL stats leaders were: most metres – Michael Morgan (195m); most tackles – Gavin Cooper (43); most try assists – Johnathan Thurston and Rory Kostjasyn (one); most tackle breaks – Jason Taumalolo (five).

• A segment on 2014 Members’ Player Michael Morgan will feature on the Sterlo show on Fox Sports 1 tonight. Reporter Lara Pitt sat down with Morgo for an exclusive one-on-one during our Cronulla camp.

• North Queensland are now at their shortest price of the season to win this year’s NRL grand final, according to bet365.com. We’re fourth favourites at $8, in from $11 a week ago, and trail only the three Sydney clubs – Roosters ($3.50), Manly ($4) and Souths ($4.50).

• Johnathan Thurston was the only Cowboy to make it into the Team of the Week on NRL.com in round 25. JT’s two field goals have taken him to the top of most one-pointers kicked in the competition this year with four.

• If you want to catch up with the Cowboys for a photo, autograph or just a chat, come along to the post-match awards at the Cowboys Leagues Club on Saturday night. One lucky fan will win a jersey signed by that night’s player of the match.

• On Monday night, the awards went to Kane Linnett (player of the match) and Johnathan Thurston (play of the day). The award winners from Saturday night’s NYC game were Josh Chudleigh (player of the match) and Jared Verney (play of the day).

• Our best wishes go to Cowboys Call Team lead commentator Wayde Chiesa who is getting married this weekend.

• There are three games of footy on the schedule for Saturday. First up will be the NRL Development Cup final between Frenchville State School from Rockhampton and Kingston State School from Logan, south of Brisbane. The match will be played in two 25-minute halves, kicking off at 4.05pm. If you’re coming along to watch, the western, northern and eastern gates will open at 4pm with the southern gate opening at 5pm.