Morgan drawing high praise as best in game
NORTH Queensland star Michael Morgan has surpassed Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith to be the NRL’s best player at the moment, according to Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
At least that’s what he told Roosters icon Brad Fittler, who revealed Robinson labelled Morgan the game’s pre-eminent superstar even before the Cowboys’ 24-16 semi-final win over Parramatta.
A week after nailing an extra-time field goal in an elimination final against Cronulla, Morgan spearheaded the Cowboys into the final four with a try and try assist against the Eels on Saturday.
Now Robinson has to figure out how to shut down the Queensland State of Origin representative and Test utility, when his Roosters host the Cowboys in Saturday’s preliminary final in Sydney.
Fittler admitted writing off the Townsville-based club, when champion playmaker Thurston joined co-captain Matt Scott on the sideline with a season-ending injury in July.
However, he said a revitalised Morgan has convinced him otherwise.
“I think players improve, you improve as you get older and learn a few things. But Michael Morgan’s changed.
“He’s a changed person,” Fittler said.
“Remember when he used to be a quiet, shy, humble bloke? But he just turned into an absolute leader. He’s just nailing the moments, and he’s not missing at all.
“I was talking to Trent Robinson and he said Michael Morgan’s the best player in the comp. That was before the game – that’s a fair wrap.”
The Roosters have enjoyed the week off after winning the qualifying final against Brisbane. They will again be home at Allianz Stadium to host the Cowboys.
Fittler suggested the Roosters could get the Cowboys on the edges.
“You just need your stars to step up.
“I think the Roosters have (them),” he said.
“I think you’ve got Latrell Mitchell and (Luke) Keary, you need to get them ball and people on the edges.
“(Cowboys centre Kane) Linnett and that are doing a great job, but they’re not that super fast so you’ve got to somehow find them out.”
Michael Morgan meets fans as the North Queensland Cowboys return to Townsville after their win against the Parramatta Eels