Mor­gan ‘ right man’

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JON TUXWORTH RIKKI- LEE ARNOLD

HE’S filled Johnathan Thurston’s boots su­perbly at club level, and he “de­serves” to do like­wise for the Ma­roons.

That’s the opin­ion of Cow­boys coach Paul Green, who be­lieves Michael Mor­gan’s ex­pe­ri­ence off the bench for Queens­land has him best placed to win a four- way bat­tle for Queens­land’s No. 6 jersey.

Mor­gan is ex­pected to be named at five- eighth or cen­tre, and showed he can han­dle the lat­ter by set­ting up the match­win­ning try in Ori­gin II play­ing right cen­tre.

Since then Mor­gan has found the right recipe to sur­vive life with­out Thurston at the Cow­boys, back­ing up a su­perb per­for­mance against Pen­rith last week with a two- try, three- as­sist mas­ter­class in Satur­day’s 31- 18 win in Can­berra.

Mor­gan has played all seven of his Origins off the bench, and his ver­sa­til­ity could count against him af­ter fiveeighth ri­vals Daly Cher­ryE­vans and Cameron Mun­ster also had fine games this round.

But Green said Mor­gan has the runs on the board and his ef­forts in guid­ing the Cow­boys to two wins from two matches since Thurston was ruled out for the year de­served re­ward.

“He’s the bloke who’s best po­si­tioned out of any­one,” Green said.

“He’s been in­volved in that team now for a cou­ple of years com­ing off the bench, he knows what they’re do­ing and has played with Johnno at club level week in, week out.

“There’s no one else in the comp who’s in a bet­ter po­si­tion to take that spot. In my opin­ion, I think he de­serves it.”

Fel­low Cow­boys Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper will re­tain their places in the Queens­land team that came from be­hind to beat the Blues 18- 16 in Ori­gin II in Syd­ney.

Now Mor­gan is hop­ing to take this new- found con­fi­dence into Ori­gin III.

To fill the shoes of ei­ther Thurston or in­cum­bent cen­tre Dar­ius Boyd will be a mas­sive task, but it is one that Mor­gan is con­fi­dent he can take on.

“It’s def­i­nitely ex­cit­ing,” Mor­gan said of pos­si­bly start­ing for Queens­land.

“I’m un­der no il­lu­sions that it’s big shoes to fill ... I know that it will def­i­nitely be a huge chal­lenge but I have con­fi­dence in the guys who would be around me.

“The peo­ple around me will cer­tainly give me con­fi­dence.

“What­ever role that team or Kevvie wants me to play, I’m more than happy to do that. I just love be­ing in that side. Whether it’s start­ing or com­ing off the bench, I’ll be happy.

A con­ver­sa­tion with his po­ten­tial Ma­roons halves part­ner has also helped him find a new level.

“I’ve had a few con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple who are smarter than me about ( be­ing halfback) and they’ve helped with their ad­vice,” Mor­gan said.

“I had a good con­ver­sa­tion with Cooper Cronk down in the Test week. He had some good words for me which def­i­nitely helped me.

“It wasn’t any­thing too much, just sim­ple things that cleared stuff up for me.

“I also had a con­ver­sa­tion with Greeny af­ter that week about how we were play­ing, how I was play­ing and what was wanted of me.

“We cleared a few things up and I told him I do want that role if JT is go­ing to be out. I want to be the one that is tak­ing more con­trol.

“He was glad that I come to him and say that.” did

LIONHEARTS: Western Lions player Mon­tel Geia on the at­tack at the Tal­lis Cup ( main) and Diesel Tay­lor ( inset). Pic­ture: WES­LEY MONTS

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