Morgan ready to wear Queensland No.6

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    A midweek chat between Paul Green and Michael Morgan could help catapult the North Queensland star into contention for injured teammate Johnathan Thurston’s State of Origin jersey.

    A proud Queenslander, Morgan is desperately hoping Thurston will overcome a shoulder injury to play for the Maroons in the Origin opener on May 31.

    But if he doesn’t, the 25-year-old showed a little bit of what the Maroons might have up their sleeve if they give him the No.6 jersey in the Cowboys 30-14 win over Canterbury on Thursday night.

    And the five-game bench utility has declared he’s ready to start in the Origin arena.

    “I’d like to think (I could handle it),” Morgan said.

    “You always want to back yourself and have confidence in yourself.

    “But personally I still hope Johnno plays, I really do.

    “He’s played 36 Origins in a row and it would be a shame to see him miss one. As a fan of the team I really hope he plays because Queensland is at their best when he’s in there.”

    Morgan has largely been overlooked in debate surrounding Thurston’s replacement, with most speculation surrounding Daly Cherry-Evans, Anthony Milford and Corey Norman.

    Maroons great Wally Lewis even said last week feared Morgan had been pigeonholed as an interchange utility.

    But after a tricky month without Thurston – when he had a previous calf injury – Morgan stepped up to the plate on Thursday night.

    He had a hand in all of the Cowboys’ points, setting up four tries with his grubbering kicks and scoring one himself as he danced through the Bulldogs’ defence.

    Morgan said he and Green had sat down to discuss taking on more responsibility in the Cowboys attack, after they won just one of their three games without Thurston before the representative round.

    “I was more on the ball than what I was the last few weeks with (Thurston) out,” Morgan said.

    “The last few weeks I was wearing No.7 but John Asiata was on the ball whereas tonight I might have been wearing No.6 but my role was to be on the ball.”

    It worked: North Queensland reached 30 points for the first time in five years without Thurston.

    “I was really proud of Morgs’ game,” Green said.

    “He came back from that week with the Test side with a lot of confidence and he wanted to step up and run the show.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • Roar Guru

      May 12th 2017 @ 8:18am
      The Barry said | May 12th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      Based on last night he’d be a laydown misere. Interesting to see what they do if Thurstons out.

      With Morgan they’ve got someone who’s been in and around camp for a couple of series now and should be able to slot in easier than a newcomer to the squad.

      Queensland used the 14 jersey very well to condition Cronk to origin. He didn’t offer a great deal off the bench but it meant once Lockyer retired, Cronk was ready to go.

      With Cronk and Thurston likely to retire from origin this year it makes sense to bring Morgan straight in and get say Norman (or whoever) conditioned to origin off the bench.

    • May 12th 2017 @ 8:50am
      Roberto said | May 12th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Dont think NSW will give free reign to Morgan like the hapless Bulldogs did.
      But wont matter whose at 6, Smith and Cronk will get them home in Game 1 at Suncorp.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 12th 2017 @ 9:00am
      up in the north said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Really pleasing to see a guy play to his potential.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 12th 2017 @ 9:23am
      eels47 said | May 12th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      The thing Thurston brings to a team is being able to play what is in front of him, something that is very rare in the modern rugby league player. Morgan doesn’t bring that, and Cronk is the half who brings structure and delivers the game plan to a tee. I think the closest Queensland will get to Thurston is either Norman or Milf. I am not suggesting that they are in his class, but they will go closer to bringing what he does to the team than Morgan will.

      That said, I don’t think it will matter, Thurston will be there for Origin 1.

      • May 12th 2017 @ 7:12pm
        frnq said | May 12th 2017 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

        Those guys you mention have done nothing and will never play origin, Milf will be someday but not your Norman. He is not even in the emerging squad. .

    • May 12th 2017 @ 12:44pm
      matth said | May 12th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      I’d be keen on Morgan to start and either Norman or Milf on the bench. Probably Norman as he has a bigger body and can play a bit of the running back rower role late in the game. I’d like to see Milf get a run as a game breaker, but probably not in a team missing JT.

      DCE has been going pretty well as well, so it’s a nice issue to have. Is he too similar to Cronk?

    • May 12th 2017 @ 2:04pm
      The Spectator said | May 12th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

      As a New South Welshman i hope Morgan gets picked, bullfrogs made him look good with lewis commentating, Morgans in form and should be in the run on ! ?

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