Cowboys stars go missing in perfect Storm

Oct 1, 2017 - 11:17 AM Michael Morgan and Jason Tauamalolo were identified as North Queensland's keys to victory ahead of the NRL grand final but failed to fire a shot as Melbourne romped home 34-6.

The Cowboys halfback and rampaging lock were spoken about as potential x-factors however had little influence on the game as the Storm comprehensively outplayed the Townsville-based underdogs at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

After breaking records by becoming the first forward to run for 5000m in season, former Dally M medallist Taumalolo largely went missing.

After averaging 194m in 2017, he ran for just 101 metres as the Storm forwards dominated.

According to Fox Sports Stats, Melbourne ran for 1640m to the Cowboys' 1288m with Jesse Bromwich, Tohu Harris and Nelson Asofa-Solomona all charging for 100-plus metres.

As well, Morgan - who powered the Cowboys to consecutive upsets over Cronulla, Parramatta and the Sydney Roosters to make the season decider - was well below his best.

He took on the line just twice and made only 23 metres.

After a Te Maire Martin try in the 48th minute gave the Cowboys the faintest of hopes, they found themselves on the attack in the Storm red zone midway through the second half.

With a chance to pile on the pressure, Morgan took the ball on the fifth tackle and kicked wide for Antonio Winterstein's left wing.

However there were few in the Cowboys side who knew the play was on and Melbourne easily cleaned up before storming home.

Morgan admitted that Storm skipper Cameron Smith effectively got to him and shut down his kicking game.

"It feels like a waste of a season to be honest," Morgan told the Nine Network.

"You come this far and we're a little embarrassed tonight.

"That scoreline doesn't reflect the effort we put in this year."

Source: AAP

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