No finals is a failure for Cowboys: Morgan


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    Michael Morgan has spoken passionately about North Queensland’s desire to rise above their horror injury toll and make an unlikely finals run, saying the season would be ‘a failure’ if they weren’t there in September.

    Saturday night’s 26-16 loss to Cronulla in Townsville was the Cowboys’ fourth in a row and arm complaints to rising star Kalyn Ponga and ball-playing forward John Asiata made a bad night worse for the 2015 premiers.

    They join an ever-growing list of unavailable Cowboys talent, headlined by co-captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston. The wretched run has seen North Queensland quickly slip from top-four contenders to battling to keep their finals hopes alive.

    Friday’s against Wests Tigers in Sydney now shapes as a must-win and despite their casualty ward Morgan said anything less than a finals appearance would be unacceptable for the Cowboys.

    “Two weeks makes a big difference in footy, a couple of weeks ago we were looking to get a spot in the top four and now we need to win to stay in the eight,” he said.

    “We don’t want to be a team that gives up, rolls over and says ‘oh we tried hard so it’s OK’, we want to be in every game and do our best not to let each other or our supporters down.

    “We see this season as a failure if we don’t get there.”

    Fullback Lachlan Coote was a late scratching on Saturday, joined on the sidelines by influential back-rower Gavin Cooper, veteran winger Antonio Winterstein and centre Justin O’Neill.

    In some much-needed good news Cowboys coach Paul Green seemed confident of getting at least a few of them back in time for the Tigers.

    Regardless of who pulls on the jersey Morgan said his team’s expectations won’t change.

    “We will all learn from being in this position we’re in and this season but we don’t want to roll over and give up,” he said.

    “We’re going to keep trying hard and we want to make a good run into the finals, it’s how we felt at the start of the year and it hasn’t changed now.

    “When you have some guys out injured, you’re under the pump and you’re not expected to win, they’re the wins that really mean a lot to the playing group.

    “I’m really proud of the way we are competing as a team and the resilience we’ve shown this year but we still see it as a failure if we aren’t in the finals.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • August 20th 2017 @ 8:11am
      Jimmmy said | August 20th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      That’s a great attitude for Morgs to have but sometimes things just dont go your way. I couldn’t be happier with the teams efforts over the last few weeks. All you can ask is that the players chosen have a real crack at winning and the boys have done that.
      It is just not our year. I think we will probably scrape into the eight but I reckon it might be a short finals campaign. Next year now that’s a different story.

      • August 20th 2017 @ 8:51am
        kingcowboy said | August 20th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        Well said Jim. Morgs should be our captain going forward. JT has given us everything he has but Morgs is now the man!

      • Roar Rookie

        August 20th 2017 @ 9:20am
        Joe said | August 20th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Very true. They deserve to be there on effort alone but unfortunately the injury toll has just been horrendous. Next year looks pretty bright.

        • August 20th 2017 @ 9:28am
          kingcowboy said | August 20th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Hey Joe, think you guys have got a real good one in Croft. I rate the kid!

          • Roar Rookie

            August 20th 2017 @ 10:09am
            Joe said | August 20th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            Yes, he is looking great. I had doubt about his defense watching his games last year and the pre-season matches but he has worked on it and is looking very good. Ready made replacement for Cronk.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 20th 2017 @ 9:39am
      up in the north said | August 20th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      Well I’m a very proud Cowbies supporter.

      I can live with the horrific injury toll when I see the amount of effort and enthusiasm the survivors are displaying.
      We had a blessed run in 2015 – 16 with pretty much the same boys turning out each week, that it was imossible for fringe players to get a crack. Now we have this situation to deal with.

      Morgan has stepped up enormously as a leader and main playmaker, as has Granville with his work at dummy half, lots of positives.

      Next year can’t come soon enough.

      • August 20th 2017 @ 9:48am
        kingcowboy said | August 20th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        I’m biased but green coach of the year?

        • Roar Rookie

          August 20th 2017 @ 10:18am
          up in the north said | August 20th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          I’ll drink to that KC, not biased at all.
          It’s when faced with adversity that true character stands tall and Green has it in spades.

    • August 20th 2017 @ 9:43am
      AGordon said | August 20th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      I hope the guys at Souths & Canterbury are reading this story. Here’s a bloke and a team giving it a red hot go every week, despite the injuries mounting up. They’re still a chance to make the eight, but if they don’t, no-one could question their effort.

    • August 20th 2017 @ 10:46am
      Rob said | August 20th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      It’s been a horrendous year for the Cowboys on the injury front but on the upside many fringe players have gained invaluable time and experience at NRL level. Next year will look after it’s self. As a supporter I love hearing that the team is still striving to stay in the contest and make the semi finals. I’m also enjoying the fact Thurston is not playing and Morgan has taking on the role as they are proving like Munster did in Origin that life will go on and possible get better after JT retires.
      The culture in the club will stay strong if they keep bringing through a majority of players from the systems they have locally in my opinion. Money will not buy a players heart and soul and that is why they are sticking solid during this time.
      Well done boys, good luck next week.

    • August 20th 2017 @ 4:38pm
      Craig said | August 20th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

      Great attitude from Morgs and the Cowboys have been great to watch this year, even when riddled by injuries.

      Not only has Scott been missing for the whole year, and Thurston for the back half but also Coote and Granville have missed games along with many others.

      Can’t question their spirit or attitude, which IMO is what all of us supporters value most. Jaryd Hayne – take note.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 1:10am
      Louisa said | August 23rd 2017 @ 1:10am | ! Report

      A brave team

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