Coote and Morgan to take control
Cowboys utility Rory Kostjasyn may be listed in the No.6 this week, but he certainly won't be the secondary playmaker when they host the Cronulla Sharks.
In the two games North Queensland has been without their first-choice playmaking combination (Round 11 v Wests and Round 15 v Raiders), their game plan has been to operate almost exclusively on one side of the field – through the hands of their best playmaker.
With Ray Thompson and Johnathan Thurston manning the left against Wests and Canberra respectively, the ball found itself in the hands of the No.7s much more often than in the hands of Kostjasyn.
In Round 11 Thompson received the ball 52 times compared with Kostjasyn's 20, while in Round 15 Thurston had his hands on it 73 times to Kostjasyn's 21.
On both occasions fullback Lachlan Coote was busy in attack, floating on the left next to his halfbacks with 61 touches v Wests and 48 v Canberra.
Whether Morgan plays on the right or left, the Cowboys will likely run through his side of the ground, with Coote by his side similar to the other two occasions.
"Me and 'Morgo' will have to work on our combinations and do it a lot more like me and JT," Coote said.
"Me and 'Morgo' will be doing most of [the kicking].
"Obviously Jake [Granville] jumped out of hooker last week and put a few [kicks] down so we will probably practice that as well."
Morgan will be required to shoulder some genuine kicking load for the first time this year, having registered just 37 kicks in 12 games this year.
But the extra responsibility does not faze the 23-year-old who, according to back-rower Ethan Lowe, has come back from Origin camp more confident and more talkative within the playing group.
"We will probably [kick] down our right side a bit more," Morgan said.
"I will expect it down the right side which doesn't bother me too much; I get into position for it anyway. I'm happy to do it this week."
After taking the week off with a shoulder complaint, Morgan says he feels fresh and ready to tackle the back end of the year.
"[The shoulder] is okay. It was the same one I've had surgery on a couple of times so it made sense to miss one week rather than risk more injury and miss six weeks so it was the safer option," he said.
"It has settled down a lot [since the start of the week]. It was pretty sore Friday and Saturday. I did a bit of weights [on Tuesday] and it felt good. As long as I keep the strength in it and try maintain it through the year it should be all right."
Points may be hard to come by for the Cowboys on Saturday, and it remains to be seen whether coach Paul Green takes the gamble and omits one of their most creative players in halfback Robert Lui from a five-man bench featuring hooker Cameron King and forwards John Asiata, Ben Hannant and Patrick Kaufusi.