North Queensland coach Todd Payten has called on his players to dig in against the Warriors to honour the club's Indigenous legends.
The Cowboys meet the Warriors on Friday as part of Indigenous round and Payten is hoping the current crop of stars can pay tribute to the likes of Johnathan Thurston with a performance all can be proud of.
While Payten says a win and maintaining their four-game home winning streak remains their focus, there is also an emphasis on their Indigenous history.
"It's a great weekend to reflect on Indigenous culture and the impact the Indigenous people have had on our game, particularly this club," Payten said.
"We've had some out-and-out superstars represent us over time. Our better players since we've been accepted into the competition have been Indigenous.
"So I know those guys - what it means to them, and our guys around them want to perform and give them the respect they deserve."
With the likes of John Buttigieg, Carl Webb, Matt Bowen and Thurston all shining over two decades, a new crop of talent now proudly represent their communities.
Payten added centres Hamiso Tabai-Fidow and Javid Bowen spoke to the players on Thursday about the significance of the round.
One milestone for Bowen, the nephew of Matt Bowen, is inking a new deal this week to the end of 2022.
The 28-year-old has experienced a tumultuous career bouncing between the NRL and Queensland Cup, but says he's proud to represent his people on Friday.
"You can tell it (this round) means a lot to the Indigenous players around the NRL," he said.
"For people back home and in the community I strive to be a role model for them and the younger kids back there.
"It's very exciting when the Indigenous round is on, that's for sure."
His coach was candid in analysing Bowen's character, conveying a reserved yet determined player well deserving of a new deal.
"Javid's a really calm, quiet kid. He doesn't show a lot of emotion. But I know he's worked really hard to get back to being within the squad," Payten said.
"It's a great story about persistence. I think he's really grateful for another opportunity and understands where he's gone wrong in the past in terms of his professionalism, and he's in a position now that he doesn't want to waste what's ahead of him.
"It's good for him, he's playing really well, he's three games back off shoulder reconstruction, he's super talented and we've got an environment where I think he can fulfill that potential."