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|Taste of Origin cauldron has Morris cooking on the wing|
|Topic Started: Jul 30 2012, 09:06 AM (248 Views)|
|stacey||Jul 30 2012, 09:06 AM Post #1|
"It helped with my confidence going back to the wing.
It's a position that I've played a lot of footy in, and I'm
very familiar with the role" ... the Dragons and NSW's
Brett Morris. Photo: Getty Images
DRAGONS winger Brett Morris has credited an unlikely mentor for helping him reclaim the title as league's number one winger.
When Ricky Stuart extended an invitation to Morris to play Origin in June, the 25-year-old said his club form immediately improved from the confidence boost.
Before that game, Morris had been overlooked for representative selection, including his shock omission from the Anzac Test.
The devil is in the detail when comparing Morris's form since that famous decider at Suncorp Stadium, finishing his past three club games with six tries and 623 metres gained.
''It definitely helped playing that game of Origin,'' Morris said. ''It helped with my confidence going back to the wing. It's a position that I've played a lot of footy in, and I'm very familiar with the role.
''That definitely gave me a boost in my confidence, and I've just tried to bring that back into the club.''
Now, the NRL's leading metre-eater (3098) wants to anchor the Dragons' knife-edge run home to the finals.
Morris helped in creating a new lease of life on the Dragons' left edge against Melbourne last week, and he believes that will continue against the Roosters on Friday.
''I'm just trying to do my best for the team,'' he said. ''It's going to be a tough run. Obviously we've got a lot of teams that are above us on the top of the ladder but if we want to be there come finals time, we're going to have to beat them, so why not try to beat them in the regular season. If you beat them then you know that you're on the mark come finals time.''
Morris's strong return to the wing from fullback hasn't happened by coincidence, and yesterday he shifted the attention from himself back to the team and the appointment of replacement custodian Jason Nightingale.
The new dynamic helped the Dragons play their ''best footy all year'', according to the former Test winger. ''We've put systems in place here that we have been working on and we had a couple of personnel changes and that's always going to take time to settle,'' Morris said.
''On the weekend, we saw that it's starting to come together for us. Everyone started to bag our attack but we knew it would come. We've been working on it so hopefully it just keeps flowing from here.''
As the heavyweights of the competition only a year ago, the Dragons are savouring their unfamiliar label as minnows in the pressure-cooker run into the finals.
The weight of expectation that would usually burden the 2010 premiers at the back-end of a season is nowhere to be seen, while publicity of their battle from outside the top eight has eased to a quiet hum during saturation coverage of the top four teams.
Strange as it seems, the underdogs tag might fit nicely for St George Illawarra over the final month of the regular season.
''I think it's a good thing,'' lock Dean Young said. ''All the sides in the majority of the run home are above us. Some people see that as daunting - we see that as a good opportunity - because if we beat them, we get the two points and it halts their run.
''Our destiny's in our own hands and we're happy with that. No one expects us to get there and it takes a bit of pressure off.''
The Dragons must beat the Roosters, Tigers, Cowboys, Warriors and Eels to secure a finals berth.
Adding weight to their case for flying under the radar is the fact they will miss firebrand utility Beau Scott and possibly five-eighth Jamie Soward against the Roosters this Friday.
Young said Scott might not return until round 25 because of groin tear, and revealed that Soward had received injections to boost his recovery from a back complaint.
Meanwhile, Matt Cooper isn't due back for another two weeks because of hamstring injury.
''I'm not too sure what Pricey's doing with the make-up of the side,'' Young said. ''Sowie's back's still pretty sore. The medical staff are just going to keep building him up and seeing how he responds to it. I think Beau's going to be out for a couple of weeks but I'm not sure of the extent of it all.''
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