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Gallen admits Cowboys have X-factor

Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen knows the Sharks can't hope to compete in a free-wheeling shoot-out with a North Queensland side accustomed to playing sudden-death NRL football.
Gallen admits Cowboys have X-factor
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Sept 11 AAP - Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen knows the Sharks can't hope to compete in a free-wheeling shoot-out with a North Queensland side accustomed to playing sudden-death NRL football.

Elimination games came six weeks early for the Cowboys as they walked the tightrope to a top-eight finish, the tough run helping build a steely resolve in a side written off as finals contenders.

Gallen admits the Cowboys' six-match unbeaten run does make them a difficult proposition heading into Saturday's sudden-death clash.

"The Cowboys have been playing this type of footy for six or seven weeks now, the must-win attitude and they've been doing it pretty well," Gallen said.

"We have to have that attitude as well.

"One thing we have done this year, we have got up for big games - hopefully we can do it this week."

One such occurrence was just three weeks ago when the Sharks downed eventual minor premiers Sydney Roosters in a match which confirmed a finals berth.

The Sharks bashed the Roosters through the middle with Gallen and Andrew Fifita leading the way.

It will be a similar gameplan against the Cowboys in the first leg of Saturday night's double-header at Allianz Stadium - particularly with doubts over the availability of North Queensland's Test prop Matt Scott, who is racing the clock to play following surgery to a broken finger.

Cronulla have racked up in excess of 30 points in two of their last three contests, but Gallen knows a points-fest will play into the hands of red-hot Cowboys.

"They've got strike all over the park - probably a bit more X-factor than what we've got with Matty Bowen and (Johnathan) Thurston," Gallen said.

"If we play our game and everyone does their job then we feel we can more than compete with any team in the competition."




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