PM's XIII changeup for Morgan
Toyota Cowboys fullback Michael Morgan showcased his versatility during the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII’s 36-16 victory over Papua New Guinea on Sunday.
Named on the interchange bench, Morgan came on after just half an hour and played the final 50 minutes of the game at hooker, fullback and halfback in front of 7,000 fans at Kokopo Stadium.
“I had two different stints at hooker which was something I haven’t done too much of,” Morgan said.
“I spent some time at hooker for the Cutters last year but probably didn’t expect to get as much time there at the weekend.
“The whole few days was a good experience and definitely an eye-opener.
“I enjoyed it but now I’m looking forward to having a bit of a break.”
It was Morgan’s first senior representative appearance following on from a breakthrough 2014 NRL season that saw him named as the Cowboys’ Most Improved Player of the Year at Friday night’s gala presentation ball.
He also finished third in the Paul Bowman Medal count.
Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods scored two of the Prime Minister’s XIII’s six tries and his performance could not come at a better time with Australia losing Cowboys duo Matt Scott and James Tamou from the front-row for the upcoming Four Nations tournament.
The Australian team were treated like rock stars as they were given a police escort and cheered by fans lining the roads to the stadium.
Inside, the Kumuls started in traditional fashion with hard running and crunching defence.
Woods scored early but the Kumuls held the Australians to 6-0 for much of the first half until late tries by Melbourne’s Will Chambers and Penrith’s Josh Mansour took Australia to a 16-0 lead at half time.
Woods again opened the scoring in the second half to stamp himself as the dominant player up the middle.
Australia raced to a 34-0 lead with tries to Broncos-bound Anthony Milford and Newcastle’s Beau Scott before the Kumuls scored three tries to the delight of their fanatical supporters.