NORTH Queensland weren’t meant to even play finals without star playmaker Johnathan Thurston.
Now it’s reluctant go to man Michael Morgan powering the club’s premiership charge.
Days after acknowledging in a column for foxsports.com.au that he struggled to step out of Thurston’s shadow when he was first handed the No.7 jersey, Morgan was phenomenal as he led the Cowboys to an upset 24 16 win over Parramatta at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The fill in halfback had a try and a try assist https://www.cowboysdaclub.com/cooper-rus...y-c-6.html
, a linebreak and three tackle busts as he sunk the Eels to end the club’s finals dream.
But it was kicking game that was a highlight. His control of the game was Thurston esque.
MATCH CENTRE Eels v Cowboys
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The only two tries Parramatta could muster came from long range counterattacking Lance Lenoir Jersey
efforts from Semi Radradra and Will Smith.
But the Cowboys showed grit in defence and flare in attack to prevail and progress to the grand final qualifier.
Now they prepare to take on the Roosters in Sydney next week to play for a spot in the big dance.
On top of Morgan’s performance, Jason Taumalolo ran for 236 metres and Lachlan Coote was sensational at fullback.
The only injury concern is young forward Coen Hess https://www.cowboysdaclub.com/ryan-switz...y-c-7.html
, who injured his right knee and will need to have scans to confirm the damage.
The Cowboys took the lead for the first time five minutes after the break when the Eels allowed a Morgan torpedo to bounce and John Asiata snatched it out of the grasp of Will Smith.
The visitors went further ahead when Te Maire Martin turned it inside for Coen Hess, setting off an all in push and shove.
Eels hooker Cameron King appeared to lead with his knees as Hess grounded the ball and was lucky not to incur an eight point try while Manu Ma’u struck Ben Hampton in the https://www.cowboysdaclub.com/chris-jone...y-c-5.html
neck but was not punished.
Earlier, the Eels took a 10 6 lead into halftime thanks to two runaway efforts off North Queensland kicks.
Semi Radradra raced 100m to open the scoring in the seventh when Martin found him on the full before Smith scooped up a poorly placed Morgan kick nine minutes before the break.