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NRL: Payten targets Cowboys response

North Queensland coach Todd Payten says it is important the Cowboys bounce back from last week’s loss to Penrith when they face the Gold Coast Titans on Thursday night.

The Cowboys are priced at 13/10 to finish in the top four of the NRL this season and have started the campaign really well. They sit third on the ladder following eight wins from 12 games.

Panthers setback

However they slipped to defeat against Penrith last week after winning six games on the bounce and Payten says it is important they bounce back against the Titans.

They will also have to do it without a host of key players. The flipside off their successful start means they lose four players to State of Origin.

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The Titans are struggling in 14th place on the ladder and Payten is also expecting a response from Justin Holbrook’s side.

"It's a big game for us," Payten told reporters. "We want to capitalise on all the hard work we've done so far. They're going to be desperate. They'll want to put in a good performance in front of their home crowd. We know what's coming at us.

"We just need to start as fast as they will start and we need to hang in there for as long as it takes. We'll get our opportunities and we just need to take them."

Holbrook demands more

Titans coach Holbrook says his side simply have to turn things around from now on in if they are to have any chance of making finals.

"Halfway through the comp now, three-and-nine, we've got to reverse that don't we?," Holbrook told reporters. "We've got to go nine-and-three, so that starts Thursday night.”

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