Cowboys’ upset win boosts the Maroons
NORTH Queensland duo Michael Morgan and Jake Granville have given Maroons selectors a welcome headache, playing key roles in the Cowboys' gutsy 22-16 victory over Canberra.
The duo had a hand in each of North Queensland's three tries in a gutsy 22-16 win in the nation's capital on Saturday afternoon.
However, the win was marred by an injury to the Cowboys' Matt Scott in the 17th minute in what appeared to be a left shoulder injury.
The veteran failed to return to the match and his injury will cause concerns for the Maroons selectors, who are set to name their Origin side on Monday.
His absence added to North Queensland's already growing injury list, which also includes dynamic backrower Coen Hess, who was ruled out with a groin injury moments before kick-off.
The matched moonlighted as a final State of Origin audition for up to 11 state representative players from both sides, and Morgan, as well as teammate Josh McGuire, did their chances no harm.
North Queensland rolled through the Canberra defence on the back of their forward pack, led by another 200-plus metre effort by human wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo.
Morgan displayed one of his best attacking performances this year through a show of class and strength to break through tackles, put players through the line and set up two tries.
A pinpoint kick from Morgan to winger Kyle Feldt to score in the 42nd minute will have Queensland coach Kevin Walters salivating at his possible halves or centre option.
"It was a hard-fought win and they're the kind of games we need to be winning to give ourselves confidence moving forward," Morgan said post-match.
"Fingers crossed there's a few of us are there (in Origin camp)."
Granville also did his Origin chances no harm by setting up the first try of the match on the back of his dangerous running game.
The win sentenced the Canberra side to their third-straight loss and gave North Queensland their first back-to-back wins this season.
Granville made his mark early in the match, splitting through Canberra's defensive line from dummy-half to send Tom Opacic in the 17th minute.
Canberra worked their way back into the game at the 24th minute mark through a Jack Wighton cut-out pass for left winger Bailey Simonsson.
Gela-Mosby wasn't able to clean up a grubber kick on his tryline four minutes later, which allowed Canberra winger Michael Oldfield to give his side a 10-8 lead.
A Justin O'Neill try just before half-time had the Cowboys leading 14-10 going into the sheds.
They came out of the blocks on fire, crossing over in the 42nd minute through a Feldt try.
A late surge by the Raiders got them back to 20-16, but a Jordan Kahu penalty conversion in the 72nd minute sealed the game at 22-16.