The Toyota Cowboys have arrived in Sydney with a squad of 19 players ahead of Friday night’s NRL elimination final against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium.
As well as the 17 named by coach Paul Green, prop forward Sam Hoare and winger Curtis Rona have made the trip south as shadow players.
“We’ve got cover in the backs and cover in the forwards. You just don’t know what’s going to happen in the warm-up,” assistant coach Terry Matterson said.
A passionate group of Cowboys members and supporters farewelled their team at Townsville Airport at lunchtime as North Queensland try to make it through to the preliminary final for the first time since 2007.
“We’ve had a really good week of training,” Matterson said.
“It was a short week but we have performed pretty well off short weeks previously.
“Now it’s down to the boys. We can’t do a hell of a lot more now.
“It’s about them getting into the right mental state.
“We know we can get the job done.”
Matterson said he expects the Roosters, who won the minor premiership, to be hurting from both their one-point loss to Penrith that cost them the direct path to next week’s preliminary final and their round 10 defeat against the Cowboys in Townsville.
“You don’t forget those sort of things,” he said.