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Maroons teammates Matt Scott and Nate Myles go head-to-head when the Titans host the Cowboys on Monday night. Copyright: Col Whelan/NRL Photos
It's a far cry from the perception many people have of Matt Scott, the hard-nosed boy from Ilfracombe who rose from obscurity to be a Test and Origin star.

The Akubra-wearing, bull-riding, pig-shooting mountain of muscle who relied on the extraordinary deeds of his late mother to simply get him to games hours from home.

As the Cowboys' co-captain prepares to face the Titans on Monday night, we can reveal there is a softer side, a cultured way about him that many people beyond Townsville's cafes and wine bars are blissfully unaware of.

But when you run out alongside him in the Maroons starting team for the past 12 Origin matches – not to mention international tours with the Kangaroos – you learn plenty about the man, and Queensland teammate and Titans opposite Nate Myles was only too happy to share.

"I've got a few things on Matty," said Myles. "He's a bit of a cool cat, 'Thumper'. For a Townsville boy he's into his cocktail-things that taste like coffee; he's a bit of a whiz at all that coffee making. 

"There's a whole different side to the big bruiser that everyone thinks he is. He loves his aged wines and he does all that stuff.

"The last time I saw Thumper he was talking about making frappacinos and stuff like that; he's a bit of a New York slicker."

As Queensland have racked up eight straight Origin Series wins, Myles and Scott have been unmoveable forces in the middle of the ruck. Having been recalled to the Origin arena for Game Three in 2009, Scott has been a starting front-rower for the Maroons in each of the 12 Origin matches played since.

Switching between either prop or second row, Myles has been right there either beside him or packing down behind him but the two will square off on Monday night in just one of a host of tantalising battles between forward packs laden with representative talent.

Whether it's Myles v Scott, Bird v Sims, James v Tamou or Taylor v Taumalolo there are individual victories to be won right across the park which is why Myles sees the challenge of facing off against his good mate as having more meaning than most weeks.

"I think it does [mean more] because I classify Matty as probably the best front-rower in the game consistently," said Myles. "He does his job every week no matter what and to get the opportunity to play against someone like that, it means a lot to anyone playing the game.

"He's an expert in all the departments, Matty. His professionalism is second to none. He's one of the most professional blokes I've ever been in camp with or played alongside and I think it shows in the way he performs week in and week out.

"It doesn't really matter how his body's shaping up, he disregards that and just goes 100 per cent and that's why he's one of the best.

"Whether you call yourself a front-rower or a 'middle' he's the pinnacle and that's where you want to be at."

Although he can play anywhere in the forward pack other than hooker, Myles concedes that in the evolution of 'middles' and 'edge-players', he's stuck in the middle for the remainder of his career.

Back in the No.10 jersey this week after making an extraordinary 58 tackles from lock forward against the Raiders in Round 3, Myles insists that his role will rarely change, even if he is wearing a different jersey.

"Obviously you haven't seen my leg speed; I don't think I need to be anywhere else," Myles said of life in the middle.

"I think we just have middles now, just standing in different positions on the kick-offs. You definitely have your specialist edge players and your specialist middle players and fortunately we've got a few that can do a bit of both. You can draw a close link between locks and front-rowers now; I think they're very similar."
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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