Australian test halfback Cooper Cronk has declared NRL grand final opponent Michael Morgan has surpassed him on current form.
While Cronk is assured of wearing the Australian No.7 jumper at the upcoming World Cup, there's an argument to be made that Morgan has established himself as the form player of the finals series.
After North Queensland scraped into eighth spot, Morgan has fired them to an unlikely grand final berth against Cronk's Melbourne Storm, which has shades of Jarryd Hayne rocketing Parramatta to the 2009 grand final.
Glad to have played some role in Morgan's rise, Cronk was comfortable to admit the Cowboys playmaker had taken his mantle as the game's best No.7.
"He's probably ahead of me at the moment," Cronk said yesterday. "He's playing elite - there's no doubt about it.
"His fingerprints and influence on the game, along with a lot of other players, has driven North Queensland to the position they're in.
"So the simple answer - he probably is (the best halfback in the NRL)."
Cronk also had a role in Morgan's making as a playmaker after pulling him aside during Australian camp during the year. Morgan described the heart-to-heart as a lightbulb moment.
"I'd do it all over again," Cronk said. "Whatever I said, honestly, it's minute compared to the work he's done along with Paul Green. Johnathan Thurston's probably had his fingerprints on his game plan and style. I haven't done much, he's done all of it."