Green: We can beat anyone
Coach Paul Green says the Cowboys' belief in themselves was shown by their comeback victory over Cronulla.
North Queensland won 15-14 at Allianz Stadium to book a semi-final against the Eels on Saturday. They trailed 8-0 in the shadows of half-time, and then again fell behind by eight points in the second stanza.
It was a tough ask for them to come back, bearing in mind the absence of Test players Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Justin O'Neill and the fact they were facing the defending premiers.
However, they took the elimination final into extra-time and saw off the Sharks thanks to Michael Morgan's field goal.
Green said it was a triumph against the odds for his team, and is confident they still have improvement left in them for the finals campaign.
"Typical of the year we've had, plenty of guts, plenty of character and in the end found a way to win," said the coach. "We were supposed to be cannon fodder in the finals. I said to the players, it doesn't matter what everyone else believes, what matters is what we believe."
The Cowboys only made the finals after St George Illawarra lost their final round game when a win would have secured eighth spot.
Green is refusing to blame his club's horror injury toll for their inconsistent season but admitted it had taken time for the side to gel when they lost key players.
He added: "Throughout all that we've shown character, we've never rolled over which I'm really proud of the players from that point of view. We've got the belief that we can beat anyone."
North Queensland are 23/10 to beat the Eels, who are 9/25. The Cowboys are 93/100 with an eight-point lead.
View all Rugby League betting