For the Melbourne Storm to prevail over the North Queensland Cowboys in the 2017 NRL Grand Final, they will have to find a way to target the Cows’ Michael Morgan, who has displayed the form of a one-man wrecking crew in the finals thus far.
Morgan pulled off the seemingly impossible, stepping in for none other than Johnathan Thurston and lead the Cowboys to the Grand Final.
The Storm is paying a lot of attention to someone not named Cameron, but Storm five-eight Cameron Munster described Morgan as the form player of the competition and Cooper Cronk, Morgan’s counterpart at halfback, made the case that Morgan had surpassed him (Cronk) on current form.
That sounds suspiciously like rugbyspeak designed to misdirect the Storm’s opposition, but it is impossible to deny that Morgan played a huge role in getting its team to the big stage.
Munster had this to say, “I want to try and get it over Morgs but he’s playing some good football and on Sunday hopefully we can get into him a bit and take him off his game. He’s going to be a big factor if they’re going to win the comp. We’ve just got to minimise his space and go from there.”
How well Morgan is able to perform in the Grand Final may have implications beyond the outcome of the game. A spot in the halves for the upcoming World Cup could be at stake.
Munster knows exactly of what Morgan is capable, having played alongside him on the Queensland side during State of Origin and watched closely as Morgan seized the initiative and led the Cows to upset finals wins over the Cronulla Sharks, the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters.
During that three-week span of overachievement, Morgan had one try, four try assists, five linebreak assists and two field goals.