Jason Taumalolo admits North Queensland's error rate has been a big issue this season, as they struggle to make a finals challenge.
The Cowboys loss to Wests Tigers last weekend was their seventh in the opening ten rounds.
And things will get no easier for them as they take on South Sydney, who toppled ladder leaders St George Illawarra last weekend, and then reigning premiers Melbourne Storm who have already beaten them this year.
New Zealand and Tonga international Taumalolo says it's the forwards who need to shoulder the responsibility of controlling field position in games.
The Cowboys completed only 70 per-cent of their sets against the Tigers, and committed ten errors in their own half.
"You can't play much footy without the ball and our error rate at the moment has been pretty ridiculous to be honest," said Taumalolo, who won the 2016 Dally M Medal.
"We'll have a bit of a chance if we can hold onto the ball and obviously that's something we can control, and if we can't against a team like the Rabbitohs they'll be piling on the points."
South Sydney have won four of their last five games heading into the Townsville clash, and Taumalolo says for the Cowboys to come out on top they will need their experienced players to step up.
"The older boys need to set examples, if they're not playing well the team isn't playing well, for the more experienced boys, we've been in the team for a while so it's all about leading the other boys," he added.
North Queensland are 23/20 to beat the Rabbitohs, who are 3/4. The Cowboys are 1/1 with a two-point start.
View all Rugby League betting