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Cowboys keen to go one better than Eels

Cowboys keen to go one better than Eels
Jarryd Hayne takes the field for the 2009 NRL Grand Final. Copyright: NRL Photos.

The North Queensland Cowboys' giant-killing run to the grand final has been compared to the Parramatta Eels' Jarryd Hayne-inspired campaign of 2009.

In that year the Eels played their way into the decider from eighth place, led by a remarkable run of form from Hayne.  

The Cowboys have likewise done it from eighth, with Michael Morgan taking on the Hayne role with a display of red-hot form at halfback since the finals began.

But the man himself isn't satisfied with comparisons to Parramatta's dream run to the 2009 Telsra Premiership Grand Final.

"Hopefully we're better, because hopefully we win," Morgan said.

"I'd rather win – you don't want to come all this way and lose. I'll take it after Sunday if we win."

Morgan played down suggestions he and star forward Jason Taumalolo were playing the Hayne role of carrying the team on their shoulders, instead praising the efforts of his teammates over the course of the finals.

"There's been a lot of talk about myself and Jason but I don't believe that at all," he said. 

"We play a role within the team, myself I touch the ball a lot more than other guys but I'm not the one who's making 40 tackles and taking the tough carries out of our end. 

"Without guys willing to do that and willing to do that job for the team you can't be successful."

 


While Morgan was remaining humble, Cowboys captain Gavin Cooper was having none of it.

"Morgo's obviously been outstanding for us, we wouldn't be where we are today... if his game hadn't taken the leaps and bounds forward that it has," Cooper said of Morgan, who has been a standout at halfback since the season-ending injury to Johnathan Thurston in June. 

"I think all the games that he's played in this year, it's crazy to think that 18 months ago he played in the middle for Origin then he's played five-eighth now he's at halfback then he's played centre for Origin. 

"It just shows he's a natural footballer and what he's got really good at is just controlling the game." 

Cooper would brook no comparison between his halfback and Hayne, struggling to keep the smile off his face as he noted the differences.  

"No way. Morgo's a halfback and Jarryd's a fullback, and I'll leave it at that," he said. 

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