North Queensland Cowboy’s coach Paul Green believes the Cronulla Sharks are semi-finals favourites.
His comments come as the two teams prepare for their weekend do-or-die clash in the first round of the finals.
The match will be played in front of a sold out Townsville crowd, with both teams needing to win.
Green admitted the Sharks were the only team to have beaten his side in both games they played against each other this year. They beat the Cowboys 24-18 in June (in Townsville) and in round 22 won again 30-18 at Shark Park.
“They probably deserve to be favourites for this game,” said Green.
“They’ve beaten us twice throughout the year, they have knocked off the Roosters and done well against (the) top four teams.
“They play a tough brand of footy.”
Most recently they demolished the sliding defending premiers, the Roosters; while the Cowboys were beaten by the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium 16-12.
Arguably the most divisive man in the NRL, Paul Gallen said to Sky Sports Radio that playing in front of a sold out Townsville crowd held no fear for his side.
“A few of us were having coffee and speaking about this last week – both places hold no fear for us, whether we had to play in Townsville or Brisbane.
“We were saying how exciting it would be to play in Brisbane in front of 50,000 people.
“And in Townsville it would be more than 20,000 and we’ve had success there; so no, it’s not daunting.”