Cowboy denies crisis, Bronco
looking to erase nightmare

North Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston insists the Cowboys haven't reached crisis point despite the club just one loss from falling out of the NRL's top-eight.

The Cowboys 16-14 home loss to Souths on Saturday night - just a week after going down to Newcastle - left them entrenched with five other teams on 22 points. But Thurston says a win is just around the corner and dismissed a State of Origin hangover as the reason behind his side's slump.

Meanwhile, Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer wants to replace the bitter memories of a State of Origin series defeat with an NRL premiership trophy. Lockyer has aimed his focus at leading the Broncos to their first title since 2000 following yesterday's 28-15 belting of Melbourne.

The come-from-behind win saw them stretch their lead over second-placed Parramatta to six points and confirmed their status as premiership favourites. Brisbane can afford to drop two games in the run into the finals and still claim their fifth minor premiership since entering the competition in 1988.

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