The NRL grand final rematch has come two weeks early with North Queensland hosting Brisbane next Friday night in a sudden-death semi-final.
The champion Cowboys were outclassed by Melbourne 16-10 and now host the Broncos, who eliminated Gold Coast on Friday night, to keep alive their title defence.
The Broncos will head to Townsville as one of the competition’s form teams, having won their past six games.
The last three games between the teams have been decided by a field goal and Cowboys skipper Matt Scott said he was expecting a similar battle royale.
“It will be tough as the Broncos always lift a couple of gears against us,” Scott said.
“Every time we play the Broncos it’s a massive occasion and theres a great rivalry there … We have a big job on our hands but its a great occasion to get up for.”
North Queensland have experience handling the do-or-die occasion, last season losing in the first week of finals before going on to claim the crown.
They have only lost one game at home this season.
“We’ll do it the hard way but there’s certainly a lot of self belief in the team,” Scott said.
“I think we’re all very disappointed at the moment as we had a great opportunity in front of us but we couldn’t quite execute against the Storm.”
The Cowboys could be without centre Kane Linnett, who left the field midway through the second half with a leg injury.