Morgan keen to thrill alongside Thurston

Oct 2, 2017 - 4:00 AM Influential North Queensland playmaker Michael Morgan believes he may have changed the way the Cowboys operate and intends to remain assertive even after champion Johnathan Thurston returns.

Thurston's season-ending injury gave Morgan more responsibility and his play flourished, with the Cowboys benefitting despite the absence of their veteran five-eighth.

Morgan steered his side to an unexpected NRL grand final appearance and has given coach Paul Green plenty to ponder over his playmaking options.

Morgan feels he has the licence to continue to assert himself even after Thurston comes back.

"I certainly will, I'm sure that's what the team will want of me, is to still be in games for long periods of time," Morgan said.

"That was my biggest problem I guess before JT was out is I'd drift in and out of games and let him take over.

"I've had the responsibility to take control of the game, I guess that might change the way we play now, I don't know.

"For the past few years we've really played myself and Cooty (fullback Lachlan Coote) in the side and Jono running the team.

"Whether we change the structure, the way we play, Greeny is a smart coach.

"I'm sure he'll look at it over the off season, have a think about what's best for our team."

Morgan feels the additional responsibility invested in him in 2017 will give him confidence going into the 2018 campaign.

"I've enjoyed the challenge of it, I've enjoyed being the dominant half in the team," he said.

Even though Thurston and fellow co-captain and important forward Matt Scott will both return from injury next year after missing big chunks of this season, Green has cautioned his side against assuming they will repeat their 2017 heroics.

"If we think this is just going to happen for us again next year, we won't get another opportunity like we did tonight, so it's important we understand that," Green said.

"There's plenty of positives to take out of the year, but as a group we need to take our lessons too."

Before 2018, Morgan is set to get another chance to display his skills at international level with him expected to earn a spot in the Australian World Cup squad.

Morgan yearns for more chances to start at that level, having made six of his seven Test appearances off the bench.

"I had the opportunity to do it (start) once last year at the Four Nations and I really enjoyed it, I'd love to start, there's no doubt about that," Morgan said.

He considers himself a better player than when he made that sole Test start against New Zealand last November.

"I think I am, I've got some more strings to my bow now," Morgan said.

Source: AAP

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