Morgan the mainstay for slumping Cowboys

He’s copped head knocks in the last two games, but North Queensland halfback Michael Morgan is set to be cleared to play on Friday night as the depleted Cowboys aim to cling to a top-eight spot.

Lachlan Coote, Gavin Cooper, Antonio Winterstein and Justin O’Neill missed Saturday night’s 26-16 NRL loss to Cronulla and while coach Paul Green hopes to welcome back some of that quartet, he dearly needs Morgan to steer the Cowboys around the park.

North Queensland take on Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium and if they lose their fifth straight game, the 2015 premiers will be bumped out of the top eight if Manly and St George-Illawarra record victories.

Also in doubt are winger Kalyn Ponga and interchange forward John Asiata, who both suffered arm injuries in the loss to the Sharks.

The Cowboys were written off following season-ending injuries to co-captains Matt Scott and Johnathan Thurston but Morgan has played a huge role in ensuring North Queensland are a chance of competing in their seventh consecutive finals campaign.

The Cowboys would not provide a full injury update on Monday, however a club representative confirmed Morgan would be fit to take the field against the Tigers.

Sharks back-rower Wade Graham landed a high shot on Morgan that sent the halfback to the sheds for a concussion assessment.

That came a week after Morgan got his head in the wrong position in attempting to tackle Penrith winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, and played no further part in the match after failing a concussion test.

“We don’t want to be a team that gives up, rolls over and says ‘oh we tried hard so it’s OK’,” Morgan said after Saturday night’s defeat.

“I’m really proud of the way we are competing as a team and the resilience we’ve shown this year but we still see it as a failure if we aren’t in the finals.”

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