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  • 20 Mar
    导出博客文章North Queensland will heed a lesson from their rollercoaster 2015 playoffs
    campaign in attempting to rebound from their first-up finals loss to
    Melbourne.The Cowboys will again be forced to take the hard road to the NRL
    grand final after losing 16-10 to the Storm in Saturdays qualifying
    final.However it is a familiar journey for the premiers.After losing in week one
    of the playoffs last year to Brisbane, they won three straight games to claim
    their inaugural title.Skipper Johnathan Thurston said the Cowboys could take
    confidence having done it before ahead of Fridays semi-final against Brisbane in
    Townsville.The amount of ball we turned over against the Storm wasnt great, but
    the way we defended our line we will take a lot out of that, we just have to
    execute better, Thurston told AAP.We are disappointed about some of the tries
    that we let in and the way we played.But we were in this position last year,
    needing to win three games to get there and we got the job done.That starts on
    Friday night against the Broncos.The Cowboys lost in week one of the finals last
    year, before thumping Cronulla in Townsville and beating the Storm in Melbourne
    before claiming the grand final in extra time against Brisbane.Last years epic
    decider between the Cowboys and the Broncos has served to enhance the rivalry
    between the Queensland sides, Maroons and Kangaroos playmaker Thurston said.It
    is always fun when you come up against the boys you play rep footy beside, he
    said.There is a great amount of respect between the two clubs. I really enjoy
    those types of match-ups.They have a lot to play for with Cozza (Corey Parker)
    retiring. No doubt they will want to send him out the way he deserves.North
    Queensland boasted an equal NRL-best home record (alongside Cronulla) of 11-1
    over the regular season. Brisbane were 6-6 away.Brisbane beat North Queensland
    21-20 in golden point in round four at Suncorp Stadium.The Cowboys beat the
    Broncos 19-18 in Townsville in round 11.
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    . The Nashville Predators were glad their
    captain was still on their side. Weber had a goal and two assists, and
    Roman Josi scored the shootout winner to lift the Predators to a 4-3 win over
    the Flyers on Thursday night. Daniel Ricciardo is not worried about starting the
    U.S. Grand Prix on the super-soft tyre, saying it gives him the chance to attack
    from third on the grid.?Ricciardo is the only man on the first two rows starting
    on the softest tyre, with Mercedes drivers and Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen
    -- who qualified fourth -- all making it through Q2 on the soft compound. That
    means the cars around him are set for a longer opening stint, though Ricciardo
    may benefit from added grip at the start.Ricciardo is happy with Red Bulls
    decision to split the strategy and is buoyed by his pace on the super-soft from
    the weekends practice session.Im not concerned, Ricciardo said after qualifying.
    We expected it to go like this. Max was wanting to try the soft [in Q2] and I
    was happy to try the super-soft. I was a bit more comfortable on the super-soft
    tyre yesterday in the long runs.That was the reason for that and hopefully it
    gives me a bit of a better launch off the line, well see. I think the day was
    pretty good. Not really close to Mercedes but we expected them to be very hard
    to beat. Weve got a good buffer overr Ferrari.dddddddddddd I think the car was
    working pretty well, I think weve got a good chance tomorrow so lets see what we
    can do.When asked if that meant all-out attack tomorrow, he laughed and said:
    Yeah! Well see what happens but hopefully the super-soft gives me some friendly
    grip off the line.Red Bulls race pace looked good over the weekends three
    practice sessions and Ricciardos spirits are high.Well see how tomorrow plays
    out. Track conditions changed quite a bit today, they should be similar tomorrow
    as we did today. That could have a bit of an influence but we did look good
    yesterday. Im the only one on the first two rows that starts on the super-softs.
    Sure, that tyre probably wont last as long but it might give me a bit of an
    advantage at the start.It is a good circuit around here and you can do
    overtaking, a few corners where you can change line and a few things -- its not
    a one-line circuit, theres some experiments you can do. Well see what happens
    tomorrow. ' ' '