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Storm spurred on by 2015 NRL exit: Green

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/09/2016 Melissa Woods

North Queensland coach Paul Green says Melbourne are a better team than the side his Cowboys booted out of last year's NRL finals.

North Queensland set up last season's grand final triumph with a 32-12 win over the Storm in their preliminary final at AAMI Park.

Green said while his own team had grown in confidence on the back of their first NRL title, he felt the Storm were also an improved outfit.

He said that the minor premiers would have used their early finals exit as motivation.

"They're basically the same side in terms of players, but I think having another year together means their combinations are better," Green said.

"I think they're defending better and I think they're probably a little bit more motivated than they were last year.

"I think they were pretty disappointed with how they bowed out ... I think that's probably been burning away in them all year and it showed with how they've played."

The Cowboys had a mini form slump from rounds 21 to 23, losing three games including a 16-8 loss to the Storm in Townsville.

Green said after the Cowboys finished the season with three wins, he felt they were back on track.

"Part of that slump was that we probably felt a bit comfortable with where we were on the ladder and had one eye on the finals," Green said.

"That's hard to not do but now finals have come around there is a spring in the boys step and they are looking forward to the big games."

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