A couple of months ago, they were $101 outsiders, but North Queensland are daring to dream of the greatest premiership upset in NRL history.

The underdog Cowboys are just 80 minutes away from the unlikeliest of grand final berths and have declared themselves capable of continuing their giant- killing streak in Saturday's preliminary final against the Roosters.

After pipping reigning premiers Cronulla in a golden point thriller, they brought Parramatta's fairytale season to a crashing halt with a 24-16 semifinal victory on Saturday night.

On match-eve, coach Paul Green described the Eels as "certainties" and revelled in the fact his side was continually being written off.


The Cowboys scraped into the finals in eighth but after being widely dismissed by the bookies and punters, their dream remains alive heading into week three of the finals.

Asked if they could upset the Roosters, Green said: "Yes. I think we've got some smart players, we've got some physical players, we can mix it with any team.

"And we've proven that through those losses [over the last six weeks of the regular season]. In different parts of those games, we were worrying teams. Even though we didn't win, we were in those games.

"I've said all along that our game was good enough, but we just weren't doing it for long enough. I knew if we could do it more consistently, we can beat anyone."

The Cowboys must find a way to turn around a six-point loss to the Roosters suffered seven weeks ago in which they flagged badly in the second half. The Townsville side - who were handed a horror injury toll over the closing two months of the regular season - lost five of their final six regular round games.

That stretch led many to believe that the side was running out of legs without skippers Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston.

Stand-in captain Gavin Cooper declared the side had grown since they last met the Roosters and was capable of booking their second grand final appearance in three years.

"For a half of footy, we were pretty good, and the second half, they blew us off the park, and we didn't know how to change momentum," Cooper said of their last meeting with the Roosters. "I think a big thing is control and when momentum starts to swing, and Parra swung momentum at the end of the first half there, our boys recognised it and were able to wrestle it back."