"Do your job" has been the call from North Queensland coach Paul Green for the past five weeks and it finally clicked for the Cowboys in their 26-14 win over the Gold Coast Titans on Saturday night.
Co-captain Matt Scott was up-front in saying he and the rest of the leadership group were to blame for their team's five losses, finding himself guilty of not setting the right example for the younger players.
"The other guys in the team look to us to set an example. We've definitely been guilty over the last five weeks of letting the team down in little areas, whether it's discipline, or errors, or effort," Scott said.
"It's important for us to have that core group of players playing well and I think we did it a lot better (v Titans), and that's something we need to be consistent at moving forward through the year.
"We've got a great bunch of young players that support us, so it's important that we set the right example."
Scott's right-hand man, co-captain Johnathan Thurston, also led by example by controlling the game better, while the likes of Jason Taumalolo, Jake Granville, Lachlan Coote and Michael Morgan were all able to make more of an impact.
It worked wonders with younger players like Kyle Feldt and Ben Hampton able to maintain the level they'd been at in previous weeks, scoring a try each.Second-rower Gavin Cooper was also in fine form, hitting the holes outside his good mate Thurston - another welcome sight for Cowboys fans.
"I ran into some brick walls too," Cooper joked. "(It) just flowed a little bit better.. being able to build a little bit more pressure with our ball control.
"The more inexperienced guys always look up to the older guys and see how they're travelling and see what they're doing good and see what they aren't doing too good.
"The tough part for myself was, people could see my frustration, that' my own game and where I was letting the boys down.
"For tonight still a little bit of frustration, but for the most part I think we reacted well as a team when things weren't going our way."
The Cowboys enjoyed 17 tackle busts to the Titans' 13, and seven line breaks to two, proving their commitment to improvement from previous outings.