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Back-to-back titles is so tough: Cowboys

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 James MacSmith and Scott Bailey

Coach Paul Green believes North Queensland dealt well with the pressure of being NRL premiers.

But they are the latest side to discover how hard it is to win back-to-back premierships after they were dumped out of the title race by Cronulla.

The Cowboys made their way through to the grand final last year after losing in the first week of the playoffs.

However, they couldn't repeat that feat this year after losing to Melbourne in week on and defeating Brisbane last week.

No team has won successive titles in the NRL era. Brisbane were the last side to manage the feat in a united competition in 1992-93.

"We felt how hard that was at different times through the year," Green said

"Teams rarely played poorly against us. That takes a fair bit out of you. It's not just the 17 or 19 players, you need a few more than that to play consistently well throughout the year.

"I thought we coped pretty well with that. We certainly gave ourselves a shot, making the preliminary final tonight. When you've been through it and you've achieved it you know what it takes. We've got to wait 12 months for it too. That's pretty tough."

Green said the Cowboys will take motivation from their preliminary finals exit, 32-20 to the Sharks at Allianz Stadium on Friday into next year.

"This year was probably an opportunity lost," Green said

"You've got to work so hard to give yourself a chance that we had tonight. That's probably the tough thing.

"The disappointment we're feeling at the moment we're going to need to hang on to that and keep the fire in the belly for next week."

Cowboys prop James Tamou said staying hungry for another title against teams that hadn't won was a challenge.

"The fire burns a lot more with teams that haven't been there yet or might have got kicked out last year," Tamou said.

"They come with a bit more energy and that I'm guessing. We wanted to be in it, but execution has let us down.

"We knew from the start we would have a target on our heads and it was up to us to step it up. Some patches it was a bit of a rollercoaster up and down through the air. It was up to us to do what we wanted to do. To come this far is obviously a great achievement but not what we wanted."

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