Not content with taking Daly Cherry-Evans’ Queensland jersey, Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan is expected to “prove a point” to the controversial Manly star in Monday night’s NRL clash at Brookvale Oval.
Morgan looked set to be in Cherry-Evans’ sights after nailing down the Maroons bench utility spot at the Sea Eagles halfback’s expense this year.
But Cowboys coach Paul Green backed Morgan to provide a not-so-subtle reminder of his Origin form – and place in the pecking order – on Monday night.
“I am sure Morgo will be out to make his own point as well,” Green said when asked if Cherry-Evans would be wanting to make his mark against his Origin rival.
Morgan revelled in his first Origin series, playing all three games, but saving his best until last.
In a 24-minute burst, Morgan racked up a try, a try assist, two line breaks and three tackle busts in Queensland’s record 52-6 Origin III win at Suncorp Stadium.
“The confidence he gets out of that will be good for him and us,” Green said.
“The confidence of knowing he can do it at that level – that’s what he has to bring back to us.”
Green backed Morgan to again be at his best against the Sea Eagles, despite having ankle cleanout surgery following his Origin III heroics.
He said Morgan had the equivalent of a “big splinter in your ankle” after screws from a previous operation became infected.
“He had an operation there a few years ago and some of the screws in there were causing some irritation – we expect him to play,” Green said.
Green welcomed back his full squad after a last round bye, but will be without NSW prop James Tamou for the Manly clash due to a high tackle ban – much to the coach’s relief.
“We are disappointed to have lost him in that circumstance, but it is a bit of a blessing in disguise,” Green said of Tamou’s one-match ban for his Origin III high shot.
“I’ve said all along about giving (Origin) guys a rest, this one was forced on me.
“We will get the benefit of that in the back end of the year.
“I would love to have him there playing, he’s been in good form.
“But for him it will give him a chance to refresh the body after a tough Origin campaign.”