Win the game early, score the points late.
That is the motto North Queensland Cowboys have founded their NRL success on this year and is the ethos key players believe can take them all the way to a premiership.
The Cowboys are surging with belief ahead of hosting Parramatta in the grand-final qualifier in Townsville on Friday night.
“We are never beaten,” said prop Reuben Cotter.
“That motto of ‘win the game early, score the points late’ is a massive theme of ours and something we base our game on every week. It seems to work for us.”
The Cowboys have lived their creed this year. It is far more than just empty words. In the away round-15 clash with Manly they trailed by 14 points with eight minutes to go and won 28-26.
In the qualifying final against the Sharks, again away, they trailed by eight with eight minutes to go before co-captain Jason Taumalolo scored in the 80th minute. Then centre Valentine Holmes kicked a winning two-point field goal in golden point to secure a 32-30 victory.
Cowboys second-rower Tom Gilbert said there was a method behind the motto, coined by half Chad Townsend, that makes it so powerful.
“It is a good little saying that we found along the way about our identity,” Gilbert said.