Morgan comes of age as half

For a distraught Michael Morgan, it was the “try assist” that capped an NRL shocker.

But to upbeat North Queensland teammate Johnathan Thurston, it was the play that finally earned Morgan his spurs ahead of Wednesday’s second State of Origin game.

Morgan was livid after throwing an intercept pass to Valentine Holmes, who ran 90m to score and seal a 13-10 NRL win for Cronulla on Monday night.

It was one of many uncharacteristic gaffes by the Cowboys pivot in attack on the night.

Suffice to say he was not in a good head space entering Queensland camp for Origin II.

Enter Thurston.

“The next day it was hard to get over. My try assist will go down in history,” Morgan said.

“But JT said to me ‘you are not a good half until you have thrown an intercept’.

“So that helps coming from him.

“I have played 90 something NRL games and if I have one of them every 90 I will be happy.”

Bench utility Morgan played just 20 minutes before coming off with concussion in Queensland’s 6-4 Origin I win in Sydney.

Concussion protocols ensured he missed the next NRL game for North Queensland.

He was desperate for a run ahead of Origin II.

But by fulltime on Monday night Morgan admitted he wished he had not been finally given the green light to play against Cronulla.

“Yeah, I was that bad,” Morgan said.

“I don’t know what happened.

“Defensively I was alright but with the ball I don’t know, I was just bad.

“It was just a few timing things. I was pretty annoyed after the game.”

Morgan reckoned it would have been enough to make Queensland selectors think twice about picking him for Origin II if he had not already been assured of a run.

“I was told after Origin I by Kevvie (Walters) that I would get another opportunity,” Morgan said.

“It was probably good that he told me that because I don’t think I would get named after that game (Cronulla).”

But Morgan was confident of exorcising the gremlins in his game ahead of Origin II.

In fact Morgan believed the loss had fired up Queensland’s Cowboys contingent of himself, Thurston, Matt Scott and Justin O’Neill in game two against NSW.

“Yeah I think so. We were annoyed about what could have been,” he said of the loss to Cronulla.

“The only try they scored was from the intercept I threw.

“With their attack I don’t think they worried us too much.

“So to still lose was frustrating.”

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