A culture of pride could be what catapults the Cowboys all the way to the NRL grand final decider in 2015.
For the third time this season the Cowboys snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with their 18-14 win over Manly.
That followed a similar last gasp win over New Zealand as well as the memorable golden point win over Melbourne that has sparked North Queensland’s nine-match winning streak.
History favours the Cowboys.
The last two teams to win nine games in a row, Melbourne and Parramatta, played in NRL deciders.
And North Queensland co-captain Johnathan Thurston said the belief came from a culture of staying in the fight – no matter what.
“We put ourselves under the pump, but it’s good to see the boys (show) some character there and didn’t stop fighting until right at the end,” Thurston said.
“We’ve been like that before, we’ve had to fight right until the end, to the death.
“Our defence has been keeping us in games and we’ve been able to come up with the clutch play towards the end of the game to get ourselves out of it.
“It wasn’t our best performance, but two points is two points.
“It’s a real tough period for the club (during Origin), we have expectations and standards.
“Whoever puts this jersey on has to do a job for us.”
Coach Paul Green was proud of his charges’ ability to stay in the fight, even as the error count mounted and the clock ticked down.
While another side could panic in that situation, Green remained confident the big moment would come.
And when Jake Granville put Lachlan Coote into space, which led to the Gavin Cooper match-winner, Green knew that persistence had paid off.
“It’s certainly a good sign,” Green said.
“Teams that have that confidence in each other probably don’t panic.
“We didn’t panic, but we looked for things that weren’t there.
“Ultimately in the end we got the job done so it is a good sign for us as a team.”
But with four players backing up from Origin for the Cowboys, Green did join the chorus calling for stand alone representative weeks.
“I would (like to see standalone Origin), definitely,” he said.
“We’ve got a fair few players involved.
“It suits us to have stand alone Origin games.”
Two-try hero Matt Scott was cleared of serious injury after falling awkwardly into a tackle in the second half.
Antonio Winterstein was taken from the field with suspected concussion but is expected to be fit to take on the Eels this week.