Cowboys back their big match experience - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys back their big match experience

By Adrian Proszenko 28/09/2005 08:50:54 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Graham Murray says his players' experience in big matches could give the Cowboys an edge in the NRL grand final against Wests Tigers on Sunday.

The Tigers go into the decider at Telstra Stadium as the only grand finalist since State of Origin began in 1980 not to have a current state representative in their side.

While two players - fullback Brett Hodgson and halfback Scott Prince - have previously played for the Blues and Maroons respectively, both were overlooked for this year's interstate campaign.

This compares with the Cowboys' grand final line-up of seven Origin representatives - Johnathan Thurston, Matt Bowen, Josh Hannay, Matt Sing, Travis Norton, Paul Bowman and Ty Williams.

The Tigers have shown few nerves in their maiden finals appearance and have progressed to the decider on the back of confidence in their attacking ability and a new-found sting in defence.

But after watching Parramatta crumble under the suffocating pressure of finals football last weekend, Murray believes his side's Origin experience could give his team a slight edge in the grand final.

"It is (an advantage), Origin is a big occasion, we all know that," Murray said after arriving at Sydney airport onWednesday night.

"But this is about club level and you don't get much bigger on the club stage. It will be a big game for both of us."

Cowboys flanker Ty Williams, who this year made his debut for Queensland, said his interstate experience would help him cope with nerves.

"I think preparation-wise it is good to have done that," Williams said.

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