Morgan braces for Broncos' JT slow down

Michael Morgan is keen to see Jason Taumalolo continue his ball-carrying carnage against Brisbane.
Michael Morgan is keen to see Jason Taumalolo continue his ball-carrying carnage against Brisbane.

Michael Morgan expects Brisbane to do whatever they can to slow Jason Taumalolo down but he won't be surprised if the metre-eating forward finds a way around them.

It's what he's done since the pair first crossed paths in juniors and how the North Queensland star began his NRL season last week when he munched up a career-best 301 metres in just 21 carries against St George Illawarra.

Friday's derby will have extra spice as Jordan Kahu and Josh McGuire line up against Brisbane and Shaun Fensom makes his Broncos debut against his former club.

Skipper Morgan said the significance of the occasion would only heighten the attention on the other JT in the post-Thurston era.

"Everyone gets a little more energised for these games," he said.

"I'm sure after his game last week they'll make an emphasis on trying to target him (Taumalolo), try and make him tackle.

"He might not have as many opportunities but hopefully he can create some for himself or we can create them for him.

"He's always been on another level from everyone else and somehow he still is and hopefully he can keep going."

Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford said his side could only hope a plan to tire him reaped rewards.

"It's pretty standard for his games at the moment," the No.6 said of Taumalolo's statistics.

"We can make him do a lot more tackles than what he did and work around the ruck hopefully takes some juice out of his runs."

Morgan is ready for anything in his first derby as captain but would've liked what he heard from McGuire on Tuesday.

Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough is hopeful McGuire distracts himself with his renowned niggling on Friday night.

But the Queensland forward wasn't biting when asked about it, instead lashing the Brisbane pack with praise and saying "he hadn't thought about" the banter.

"I think they're really excited for it; I know Moose (McGuire) definitely is," Morgan said.

"(But) I don't think he'll go into the game with that mindset (to seek out confrontations).

"Everyone knows the type of player he is, can be quite aggressive ... he's happy to stick up for someone in his team.

"If that happens, we'll be glad to have him."

Australian Associated Press