Australia Morgan back in the saddle at NRL's Cowboys

08:36  05 march  2021
08:36  05 march  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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The Cowboys sit 13th ahead of Thursday' s trip to Leichhardt to face Wests Tigers and must win at least five of their final six games to have any chance of a play-offs appearance. Worryingly for Paul Green' s men, they have lost their past seven at the venue, with their last victory coming in 2000. Having Morgo back there (at five-eighth), there' s a bit more composure and understanding of what' s required in big moments when they come along." The Tigers are just one point adrift of eighth-placed Brisbane following their rousing defeat of Newcastle. Hannay expects them to be up following Robbie Farah' s

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Coming off an injury-ravaged 2020 season, North Queensland five-eighth Michael Morgan is ready and raring for a return to NRL action.

a man holding a football ball: Michael Morgan is looking forward to a fresh start at the Cowboys for the 2021 NRL season. © Darren Pateman/AAP PHOTOS Michael Morgan is looking forward to a fresh start at the Cowboys for the 2021 NRL season.

The Cowboys co-skipper - who will this season share the captaincy with Jason Taumalolo - is key as a leader and ball player for North Queensland, but only managed six games in the last campaign as his side struggled to compete.

A combination of shoulder surgery followed by a torn calf wrote off most of Morgan's 2020 campaign but with a return to fitness and the arrival of a fresh coaching team for the Cowboys, this year brings a clean slate.

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A subreddit for the NRL team North Queensland Cowboys . The North Queensland Cowboys are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Townsville, Queensland. They compete in Australasia' s elite rugby league competition; the National Rugby League ( NRL ) premiership. Unofficial Current Squad (Revs Edit) Official Current Squad Official Cowboys Website Cowboys Stampede Forums NRL Subreddit.

Kazakh cowboys , while proud of providing their rapidly modernizing nation with a link to its nomadic past, rarely want their children to follow them onto the frigid steppes. Steadily stripped of their pastureland by Russian officials and settlers in the 19th century, and then of their cattle after Russia’ s 1917 revolution, nomads became hired hands on collective farms. But they still knew how to ride, becoming cowboys for the state instead of themselves.

Morgan says the differences in new coach Todd Payten's approach have been embraced by the players.

"It was very different to what we've had in the past," Morgan said.

"Obviously Todd is bringing a lot of new things in and changing the way we want to play ... so training's changed.

"It did take a little bit of getting used to the things that he put in place, what he wants us to do and what he wants us to be good at.

"We had things a certain way for a long time so it wasn't going to change overnight.

"We'll still probably have some teething problems now and then but everyone's going really well."

One of Morgan's concerns was how ready his body would be for the challenges ahead, coming off almost a year without competitive football.

But getting through last week's trial against Brisbane without any issues has given the 29-year-old added belief he is ready for a return to the fray.

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— NRL (@ NRL ) September 6, 2020. Without key playmaker and captain Michael Morgan and destructive forward Jason Taumalolo because of injury, the Cowboys had to rely on enthusiasm more than class and appeared up for the contest early. Euan Aitken strolled over untouched before a spectacular four-pointer to winger Mikaele Ravalawa in the corner in the 30th minute. The sides exchanged tries early in the second half before five-eighth Scott Drinkwater took charge for the Cowboys .

A seven-minute hat-trick from back -rower Gavin Cooper in the second half blew the game open with the Cowboys previously looking dead and buried when the Eels took a penalty goal in the 52nd minute to stretch their lead to 24. Typically, halfback Johnathan Thurston was in everything during the comeback; a series of pinpoint kicks terrorising the Eels. The Eels exploded out of the blocks to start the game, full of running and tearing holes in the Cowboys ' right edge in particular as Manu Ma'u, Brad Takairangi and Semi Radradra capitalised on several pieces of Corey Norman brilliance.

"Getting through a tough pre-season brought back that confidence in my body," he said.

"I was a little bit nervous going into last weekend but that was probably just from not playing for a little while.

"With pre-season, a lot of high-speed running, a lot of contact has been great."

One change at the club for the season ahead is the sharing of leadership responsibility, with Morgan welcoming the naming of dual-international Taumalolo as co-captain for 2021.

"I've really enjoyed Jason being made captain and I'm extremely glad that he is. He is very deserving of it," Morgan said.

"It gives me more of a chance to just focus on myself, which is what I've had to do through the pre-season."

The Cowboys kick-off their 2021 NRL campaign with a visit to last season's beaten grand finalists Penrith on March 13.

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