North Queensland are confident their momentum can counter Brisbane’s extra freshness in Sunday’s NRL grand final.
The Cowboys are seeking to become the first team in 10 seasons to claim the premiership without having a week off in September.
The last side to win the title without earning a week off during the final series were their grand final opponents Brisbane back in 2006.
The Broncos enjoyed a week’s break this time around due to their qualifying win over the Cowboys, and that freshness showed as they made light work of minor premiers Sydney Roosters in their preliminary final, thumping them 31-12.
Forced to qualify for the grand final the hard way, the Cowboys were awesome in their 39-0 thumping of Cronulla in their semi-final and unstoppable in the second half of their preliminary final win over the Storm in Melbourne.
Prop James Tamou says that form has the Cowboys flying for the grand final – only the second in the club’s history following their loss to Wests Tigers in the 2005 decider – and he wouldn’t trade it for Brisbane’s week off.
“We have got that momentum now, I hate missing a week because you lose that,” Tamou said.
“Playing that extra week you get that extra game and we are the better for it.
“Against Melbourne we carried on from the previous week. We knew we had to start fast because they had the week off and were fresh. They were going to come out strong and we need to do that again against the Broncos.”
Tamou says the Cowboys have taken the lessons from their 16-12 loss to Brisbane earlier in the final series.
“We made two crucial errors (in defence) there and we have learnt from that,” he said.
“That is the thing with finals, errors are so costly and we have to guard against that on Sunday.”
Key to the Cowboys’ momentum have been the bullock-like charges of Tamou and fellow Test prop Matt Scott.
“I think it is definitely a strength of ours,” Tamou said.
“We have to give our halves a chance to do their thing, it is our job to lay the platform there to give them early ball to do what they have to do.”