Morgo will ‘ brain it’ at centre: Tate
THE move may be viewed as a gamble, but Maroons legend Brent Tate has backed Michael Morgan to “brain it” when he plays left centre for the first time in Wednesday’s Origin decider in Brisbane.
While Tate ( pictured) admitted Maroons coach Kevin Walters has taken a “brave option” by naming Morgan in a position he hasn’t played since Queensland Cup four years ago, he believes it’s the best possible option.
“I reckon he’ll go good, it’s the perfect role for him,” Tate said.
“It’s probably not ideal that he hasn’t played there much but I think he’s going to brain them.
“It’s a really good move, I would have named him there for sure.”
Eyebrows were raised when established fullback Josh Dugan was named at centre for the Blues in 2014, but he has since made the spot his own in five game there. Morgan will be charged with shutting down the dangerous Dragon and Tate said forming a defensive combination with five eighth and debutant Cameron Munster will be his biggest battle.
“Defence is going to be his biggest challenge, especially as he usually plays on the right edge,” Tate said.
“It’s pretty tough ( to form a defensive partnership with a five eighth so quickly), but I think he’ll be fine. I’ve got a hell of a lot of confidence in Morgo and his ability, and they’ll work on it.
“Morgo has played Queensland Cup there and has won a grand final ( at that level) there. You can get him the ball and let him do what he does best, which is running the footy.
“I think it’s brave, but it’s the best option we’ve got there at the moment from my point of view.”
Morgan was very unlucky to miss out on wearing the no. 6 jumper to Munster after five years biding his time as the Maroons bench utility.
He has also been in superb form for the Cowboys since Johnathan Thurston was ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury, orchestrating wins against Penrith and Canberra.
“That’s why I think it’s a good move to put him out there,” Tate said.
“When you’re confident and in the zone it doesn’t matter where you’re playing, you have the belief you’ll get the job done.
“Defending at two ( in from the wing) is very similar to three, you’ve got guys coming at you and you have to make decisions.
“It’s not something that’s going to be foreign to him.”