DEFIANT Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin refused to latch on to the popular underdog tag or accept tonight's rivals and warm favourites North Queensland were under the most pressure in their NRL elimination clash at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Griffin seemed affronted by suggestions his side was not up to going beyond today's knockout round, claiming the people writing off his team were mostly media and outside critics.
He bristled when asked if all the pressure was on the in-form Cowboys whose two gun players, Johnathan Thurston (fourth) and Matt Bowen (second), finished in the top four of Dally M voting this week. ''That's media talk. You guys [media] are the ones who have drawn assumptions and have got opinions on how good or bad we're going. We go about our business, we don't take it that seriously,'' he said.
''We're both under pressure - it's sudden death, we're both in the same boat. It's 80 minutes of footy, we both finished in the bottom four and we're both on notice.''
Brisbane, who snuck away into a mini-camp on the Gold Coast for two days, have worked hard on getting their defensive structure right with heavy emphasis on the Thurston-Bowen combination.
''We have to defend well and complete a lot of sets and that will give us a chance,'' Griffin said.
The last time the two Queensland sides clashed at Dairy Farmers they were scoreless for 60 minutes before the Cowboys won 12-0.
''We were a little light on staff that night and this time we're playing for keeps so nobody will be giving an inch,'' Griffin said.
Centre Justin Hodges, who will turn out for his 200th game, is a player who could turn the elimination final Brisbane's way.