North Queensland Cowboys

Cowboys re-sign Morgan on five-year deal

The announcement is a massive boost to the club as the Cowboys prepare to host their Telstra Premiership season launch in Townsville on Friday ahead of star half Johnathan Thurston's final season.

The Townsville-born 26-year-old will line up next to Thurston this year before taking over as the chief playmaker in 2019.

Morgan had previously said he did not want to leave the club that signed him as a teenager and he has proved good to his word.

"I'm stoked to be staying at the Cowboys, a club I grew up supporting and, later in life, proudly playing for," Morgan said.

Thurston magic leads Cowboys to testimonial win

In a moment that could not have been scripted better, Johnathan Thurston pulled a stunning banana kick out of his box of tricks in the final minute to set up a try for hat-trick hero Kyle Feldt and secure a 16-14 win for the North Queensland Cowboys over the Melbourne Storm in his testimonial match at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

It was a perfectly executed move and one that summed up the career of a genius.

Earlier, on the stroke of half-time Thurston put on the signature move that has defined his attacking prowess to score a classic try.

JT returns but Tigers tame Cowboys in Cairns

The early-season rust was clear for both sides in a match that was delayed for more than 45 minutes after a blackout struck Cairns following a storm in the tropics.

After the lights were turned on, poor discipline from North Queensland gave the Tigers an easy out in the form of a penalty inside their own 10 metres, which they used to march up the field.

They made good use of the field position when they sucked in three defenders before offloading to find winger Corey Thompson unmarked, who posted first points of the night. 

How Morgan overcame fear of failure and self-doubt

In a wide ranging interview with the off-contract Cowboys half has detailed why money won't be a motivating factor when he signs his next deal, his innermost thoughts on embracing the playmaker role when Thurston was injured in 2017 and the expectation that he will carry if he is to play a key role in the halves for the Maroons in the future.

Morgan has conceded that stepping into Thurston's shoes last year was a nerve wracking experience initially, but a challenge he was determined to rise to. 

Why the Cowboys remain confident of re-signing their stars

North Queensland re-signed all of their 2015 premiership-winning side for the following season, the first team to do so since Parramatta won the 1983 grand final and kept their squad for the next year.

Several of the players have options, but the contracts of Lachlan Coote, Antonio Winterstein, Justin O’Neill, Michael Morgan, Shaun Fensom, Jake Granville, Ethan Lowe and Kane Linnett all expire at the end of 2018.

Perfect Storm claim 2017 premiership

The North Queensland Cowboys battled bravely right to the end were barely in the contest right from the outset against a Storm side that were clinical and relentless from the opening whistle in Cronk's final game in purple.

Cowboys must improve to beat Storm

The Cowboys have proved they can step up a gear, having put in better and better performances since Week 1 of the finals, when they edged the Cronulla Sharks in extra time, before going on to man-handle the Parramatta Eels in the semi-final and outlast the Roosters in the preliminary final on Saturday night.

Cowboys ready for Roosters

The Roosters are without stars Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner, while the Cowboys have had an unsettled build-up with tackling-machine Shaun Fensom rested from training due to a rib-cartilage injury, while stalwart front-rower Scott Bolton has missed training due to sickness. 

Forward John Asiata is expecting Fensom to play, and the back-rower's toughness is somewhat legendary, having unknowingly broken his arm in training while at the Canberra Raiders only to turn up to a weights session the next day.  

Cowboys overpower Souths in Cairns

It was the first time the club has won three straight games without their inspirational playmaker, and suggests their premiership chances aren't over yet despite losing both Thurston and co-captain Matt Scott to season-ending injuries.

The win came despite a second-half breakdown in discipline and ball-handling from the Cowboys, with their completion rate dropping from 85 per cent to 76 per cent by the end of the game. 

Cowboys recharge for finals run

Since the State of Origin period began the Cowboys have won five from seven, only losing to the Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm in that time by four points and one point respectively.

The upturn in form coincided with the return of Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville in Round 10, while Michael Morgan stepped up to embrace his new leadership role in the absence of Johnathan Thurston.