Five weeks is a long time between drinks but now that the Cowboys have rediscovered that winning feeling, veteran prop Matt Scott says morale has picked up considerably ahead of this Friday's clash with the Bulldogs.
The Cowboys' 17-10 win over the Warriors was their first since round one and was built on a resolute defensive effort which had been missing in big losses to the Broncos, Sharks and Raiders.
“It's been a few weeks so the win was definitely needed and it makes the mood a lot better," Scott said.
Having travelled to Auckland in round six the Cowboys now head to Sydney to face the struggling Bulldogs and Scott says the limited preparation time presents no issues.
“We’ve probably nailed our shorter turnarounds better than our longer ones," he said.
"We rest up early in the week and then build into the game, so I'm comfortable with it, I'm sure the rest of the team are too.
“It's just that tough part of the draw that we've got to deal with."
The improvement shown in the 18-12 loss to the Melbourne Storm a fortnight ago was carried over into the Warriors game and Scott says things are starting to click in Townsville.
In a further boost to the Cowboys' chances of recording back-to-back wins, Paul Green has been able to name the same 17 as last weekend.
“We were happy with the improvement [against Melbourne] but everyone recognised that there was still a little bit more to go," Scott said.
"The Warriors are a pretty good side this year and it's always a tough road trip for us so we had to still play well to beat them."
Despite the Bulldogs sitting last on the ladder, the Cowboys won't be under-estimating Dean Pay's men.
“I watched the game against the Rabbitohs, who are a really good attacking side, and they really frustrated them," he said.
"I think defensively they worked really hard for each other. They're a gritty tough team and that's the way they're playing again this year."
With the Origin series opener now just six weeks away, 33-year-old Scott admits he still has a "fair way to go" to get to the level required to be part of Kevin Walters's pack.
“I've been away for a few years and had a disrupted last couple of years but I feel like I'm starting to find my feet, find a bit of match fitness," he said. "I've still got a fair way to go.
"Look it's probably just how my body feels, how I pull up after games. It's definitely taking a little bit longer to recover from games these days but I'm feeling pretty good while I'm playing.
"I'm really just trying to play some consistent footy and do a good job for the team. I guess I've got to make a decision sooner or later [about representative retirement] but that'll probably be up to Kevvie.
"I can't see myself retiring from rep footy unless I start feeling pretty average in the next few weeks.”
Given the amount of experience Queensland has lost in recent times, Scott said he would “love to play for Queensland again” and be there to guide the players into a new era.
“I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be there," he said. "I'm certainly not expecting anything. I'm happy with the career I've had in the Origin arena and if I didn't play again, I'd be very happy with what I've done in the past.
“I know that there's talk about the lack of depth with the Queensland forwards but I think we do have a lot of really good quality front-rowers coming through and I think it's up to Kevvie with which way he wants to go - whether to blood those young guys and give them the opportunity or bring a bit of experience back."
Scott's team-mate Coen Hess, who has played five Origin games over the past two seasons, believes the veteran would be a great addition from a leadership role alone.
"He's been around for a long time now and he's had a lot of success in the Origin arena. I think having him in the team would be a massive boost for his leadership qualities," Hess said.
When asked about his own aspirations of playing for Queensland again, 22-year-old Hess said he’s not thinking about it too much.
“I think for everyone at this time of the year you’re focusing on club footy because that's how you gain selection into State of Origin teams," he said.
“I think I’d be kidding myself if I was thinking too far ahead and worrying about Origin. You’ve got to fix your own backyard first."