North Queensland Toyota Cowboys second rower Ethan Lowe believes the Northern Pride's clash against top of the table Redcliffe Dolphins this weekend will be a good litmus test for his Queensland Cup side.
A win this Saturday in the mouthwatering 1st v 4th clash in Cairns would go a long way to securing a top-four berth for the Pride.
The Pride, who have held on to fourth position on the Q-Cup table since Round 19, will go into the match with a lot of confidence, having won three of their last four.
"It's obviously important to stay in that top four," Lowe said.
"We are playing the top of the table this weekend, so it will give us a good read on where we are as a club, and how we are set up going into the finals."
Lowe, who has scored tries in his last two games for the Pride, has been selected in Paul Green's 21-man squad for Saturday's night's matchup against the Cronulla Sharks.
The 27-year-old said Pride teammate and current Cowboy Jake Clifford will be a big addition to the Cairns-based outfit come finals time.
"[Jake] has been outstanding for the Pride all year, and obviously he's been rewarded with some NRL time, which is great for him," Lowe said.
"It will do his confidence the world of good by the time he comes back and gets into the finals for the Pride."
While Lowe said that losing Clifford to NRL was a big loss for the Pride, he believes the team has done well to cover him in his absence over the last month.
"The younger halves have really stepped up," Lowe said.
"[Jordan Biondi-Odo] has done a really good job, and [Jack Campagnolo] has taken some good steps forward in the last few weeks and helped lead us around the park and to a couple of wins."
The Cutters take on the Redcliffe Dolphins this Saturday night (7pm) at Jones Park, before finishing the season back at Barlow Park against the Tweed Heads Seagulls (6pm) the following Saturday.