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Cowboys ready to "do it for Neil"

Former Cowboys coach. Neil Henry. Getty images/Telegraph
He may have lost the support of the North Queensland board but dumped coach Neil Henry has emerged as the players' inspiration for a last ditch NRL finals push.

Cowboys forward Ashton Sims said rather than sulk after being told he would not be required in 2014, Henry asked players to finish the season with a bang.

They need to win their final six regular season games to keep their faint finals hopes alive but Sims said the Cowboys were ready to "do it for Neil".

"Definitely. He has been a good servant for the club for years as assistant and head coach," he said of Henry.

"But we also want to do it for ourselves.

"We haven't played our best footy this year.

"There's six games to go, 12 points on offer and we want to take all of them."

Easier said than done - 13th-placed North Queensland (6-12) begin their unlikely finals push against ladder leaders South Sydney (15-3) in Townsville on Saturday night.

Throw in the distraction of Henry's imminent departure and the sad passing of ex-mentor Graham Murray and the challenge appears more impossible than improbable.

But Sims said the Cowboys still had belief thanks to Henry's calming influence.

"We are ready to put it all behind us. It has been pretty tough," he said.

"Neil came in the other day and said `we want to finish on a high'.

"There is still a mathematical chance we can make the semis, that's what we all believe.

"We are all optimistic about it.

"We want to get the full points from our final games and maybe scrape into eighth."

Sims - named on an extended bench - hopes to mark his 200th NRL game since making his 2003 debut for the Dragons.

"It's a bit surreal. I was just a surf punk kid from Gerringong on the NSW south coast - 200 games later here I am still scrapping away," he said.

He hopes to come off the bench alongside little brother Tariq, setting up a colossal sibling rivalry with the Rabbitohs' Burgess brothers George, Thomas and Luke.

"They are a bit bigger than us," Sims laughed.

"They are always a handful but our pack is looking forward to it."


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