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Morgan set to replace JT in Maroons halves

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    Michael Morgan looks set to wear the Queensland No.6 jumper in next month’s State of Origin decider.

    Newcastle and NSW legend Andrew Johns suggested he had been told by Queensland selector and fellow Channel 9 commentator Darren Lockyer that Morgan was set to replace injured North Queensland teammate Johnathan Thurston.

    Morgan has held down the bench utility position since making his Maroons debut in 2015 and is considered the leading contender for the vacant five-eighth role for game three ahead of Melbourne’s Cameron Munster, Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans and Parramatta’s Corey Norman.

    Selecting Munster in the halves would have some appeal given his combination with clubmates Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater, all of whom occupy spots in the Queensland spine.

    Munster is heavily favoured to fill the left centre role that coach Kevin Walters must fill after Brisbane captain Darius Boyd suffered a broken finger which is set to keep him out for four to six weeks.

    “Morgan will be five-eighth and Munster will be left centre,” Johns told the Sunday Footy Show.

    “I was talking to someone the other day about it. Someone who talks like this,” Johns added, doing his best gravelly-voiced Lockyer impression.

    Thurston injured his shoulder in Queensland’s memorable come-from-behind game two win against New South Wales to send the series to a decider.

    Morgan also received an endorsement from Thurston himself after he came on for Will Chambers in the second half and threw the match-winning flick pass to Dane Gagai.

    “Morgo’s done an unbelievable job in that area. I think he’ll deserve the first crack there,” Thurston said.

    “And no doubt he’ll do a good job. Gavin Cooper will defend on that left edge there and that will help him.”

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • June 25th 2017 @ 2:03pm
      Mike Julz said | June 25th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

      Milford?

      • Roar Guru

        June 25th 2017 @ 5:42pm
        Emcie said | June 25th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

        injured

    • June 25th 2017 @ 2:40pm
      Rob said | June 25th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

      Norman and Munster are both left footers which can give them options running down the left side. Munster and Norman are also more lethal running right to left like JT does from what I have seen. Cronk predominantly likes to play left to right with Slater. Morgan does not attack the left like JT. It will unbalance the team.
      Morgan has a few to many handling errors and miss tackles in his game compared to Munster and Norman. He should be playing right centre in my opinion, because he can cause a lot of problem for the Blues in attack on that edge. Morgan can hit another gear at pace which regularly catches defenders who show him the sideline out. He then has the ball playing and kicking skills also to put the winger in unmarked. e.g. 2015 GF and SOO 2.
      He’s being wasted coming of the bench as he is not a dummy half, hit up runner or middle third defender.

      • June 25th 2017 @ 3:03pm
        kingcowboy said | June 25th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        Rob I really don’t Qld can wrong with any of those three players. Morgs stays in the 17 but I would have no issue with him coming off the bench. He can actually play any position besides front row. He has the size to play in the 2nd row. He is a big boy!

      • Roar Guru

        June 26th 2017 @ 7:25pm
        Rellum said | June 26th 2017 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

        Norman also has a booming kicking game which could help us out if we are struggling to get out of our own end. I guess it is more about his defense.

    • June 25th 2017 @ 6:06pm
      no one in particular said | June 25th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

      Qld obviously don’t want to win

    • June 25th 2017 @ 6:53pm
      R N said | June 25th 2017 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

      Surely with Thurston/Boyd out the best option is to pick both Morgan and Munster to start… does it really matter who plays 5/8 or center, both quality players either/or can play both positions.
      Start both and pick another forward on the bench… maybe bring Guerra back as unlike most of our forwards he has a bit of ball playing in him!
      I like Norman as a player but he can sometimes be a little mentally fragile and go missing – Munster is cucumber boy and Morgan has proven he has a big play in him!

      • June 26th 2017 @ 12:25pm
        matth said | June 26th 2017 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

        Exactly and my suggestion for the bench is Corey Oates. come on in the last 10 minutes of each half to steam onto inside balls from the halves, or if there is a backs injury, he can go on the wing and Munster and Morgan are versatile enough that we can cover anyone.

        • June 26th 2017 @ 7:17pm
          R N said | June 26th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

          Yep not a bad option, he could some damage… but where do you put him in defense? He could burn himself out pretty quick in the middle!

    • June 25th 2017 @ 7:07pm
      Griffo said | June 25th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

      Morgan for mine. He’s been very good of late with his scoring and making assists, refer especially to the Panthers, Titans and Bulldogs games. Also I’d like to see Hess running lines off him. Both players have a lot of power and draw defenders. If that happens there will space elsewhere if not there will be space for one of them.

    • June 26th 2017 @ 7:11am
      Brendon said | June 26th 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Got to go Munster. The connection with Cronk, Smith and Slater is to good to over look (plus Chambers). Put Morgan in the centre, particularly after he covered for Chambers so well. that way your spine doesn’t incorporate an unknown and you still field a hell of a team.

      • June 26th 2017 @ 10:19am
        Tbone said | June 26th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        Agree – Munster to 6 Morgs to centre.

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