Living on the glory of their breakthrough premiership is not an option for the Cowboys.
So says Michael Morgan, who set up his side’s grand final winning try before Johnathan Thurston kicked the clinching field goal to break a 20-year title drought for the Cowboys.
“We will never forget how big of an achievement it was last year but we can’t just live on that now,” Morgan said.
“We are starting on zero points just like everyone else.”
When the Cowboys kick off their new season they will face a Sharks side hungry to erase the memory of a humiliating 39-0 semi-final loss to the Cowboys that ended their 2015 season.
It’s a defeat that Sharks veteran Wade Graham admitted stings even now, and they will look to enact a measure of revenge on a Cowboys side who have only recently returned from winning the World Club Series.
Skipper Thurston says the Cowboys have recovered well from the trip and will be ready for that battle on Saturday night in Townsville.
“It’s not ideal for our preparation but they are the cards you get dealt when you win the premiership,” Thurston said.
“The boys are aware of that and our high performance unit have done a great job freshening the players up.”
After a slow start to last season, the Cowboys went on to win 11 consecutive games ahead of their maiden premiership but will be looking for a better start to the year in 2016.
“When we went on the winning streak last year all the teams were lining up to be the team to end it,” he said.
“I think this year it will be similar circumstances but nothing that the boys haven’t seen before.
“Last year is gone now and it’s a whole new ball game.”
The challenge for the Cowboys is not insignificant in 2016, given the Brisbane Broncos were the last club to go back-to-back in the 1992 and 1993 seasons.