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North Queensland Cowboys superfan spends thousands on flights to watch this year’s games

When the North Queensland Cowboys took on the Cronulla Sharks in a do-or-die qualifying final, Ronaleen “Crocky” Murphy was looking for some divine intervention.

Inside her outback Queensland home, the hardcore Cowboys supporter was praying to the footy gods.

“We were down in points, but I was praying with my Cowboys cross, which I hold every time they play,” she said.

Many a punter has tried to buy Ms Murphy’s cross from her.(ABC North West Qld: Larissa Waterson)

She wanted nothing more than to be at the Sydney Shark Park with the rest of the fans but a $2,400 return flight was too steep given she had already spent more than $22,000 on travel for her and her husband to watch Cowboys games this year.

In the 92nd minute, a field goal from Valentine Holmes changed it all. 

“I just knew they had the guts and tenacity to come back and win that game,” she said.

And win they did, in a golden point 32-30 victory.

Even though there was a fortnight before the first ever preliminary final at the Cowboys Stadium, Ms Murphy practically had her bags packed.

This week she secured her ticket to the Friday night showdown.

A superfan through and through

Ms Murphy’s heart has beaten blue and gold since 1995 when the club first formed. 

“We fly over to Townsville for every home game,” she said. 

The trip is 1,000 kilometres away from her Mount Isa home. 

“It’s a lot [of money] — flights, accommodation, meals, our memberships. Oh, and my husband likes to have a beer at the games,” she said.

“We’ve worked hard all our lives, so who cares? It’s only the kids’ inheritance.”

Ms Murphy has also splashed out on some important lucky charms including a blue watch, a ring, and her bejewelled Cowboys cross.

“Some people have tried to buy it off me but no price could ever see me part with it,” she said.

The superfan runs a business in Mount Isa and has designed the uniform in blue and gold in tribute to “[her] boys”.

A womans hand with blue ring, next to a golden cross, and watch with blue band and gold face
Every accessory in Ms Murphy’s life seems to be blue and gold, including her family business’s work shirts.(ABC North West Qld: Larissa Waterson)

In the 2017 season grand final, the Cowboys suffered a loss to the Melbourne Storm at Sydney’s Accor Stadium. 

“It’s about being there through the good times and the bad times,” she said.

But she is adamant that this season will be different.

She’s so confident the Cowboys will win the preliminary final against the Parramatta Eels to earn a place in the grand final that she’s already got flights booked to Sydney and game tickets. 

“I go for the boys and my tickets are refundable. So, if they don’t get in[to the grand final], they’ll go back for someone else to enjoy.”

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