North Queensland wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo has declared that the Cowboys will dish out their own brand of justice on Beau Scott and the Newcastle Knights on Saturday afternoon.
Scott is still at the forefront of the Cowboys’ minds after the events of Round 2, and both coach Paul Green and his players expect the designated hitman to suit up in an early return from an ankle injury.
A second crack at Johnathan Thurston will no doubt be incentive for Scott, whose rivalry with the star playmaker started in the Origin arena.
Thurston was again targeted throughout the game in Round 2 this year, with Scott grinding the No.7 into submission by the end of the 80 minutes after multiple hits that caught the attention of the match review committee.
Taumalolo is determined to play body guard this time around, proclaiming “We’re going to give it to him,” when asked about the Newcastle veteran.
“Either way, if he’s playing or not, we’re definitely going to give it to him,” Taumalolo said.
“That’s the big thing we’ve been talking about this week, not letting any of that happen to any of our teammates and we owe (Newcastle) one.
“The Round 2 game won’t go unnoticed and we will definitely make a statement when we play on Saturday.”
While Scott dished out the punishment, North Queensland’s forward pack was held to account for a lack of fight-back as the Knights outmuscled the home side in the 12-0 second half.
Prop Kade Snowden and second-rower Robbie Rochow tore up the Cowboys’ middle third, but Taumalolo says his pack is looking forward to that physicality this time around.
“Whatever challenge the other forward pack offers, we’re not going to take a backward step, especially the likes of Jimmy (Tamou) and Matty Scott. We’ll definitely take that challenge,” Taumalolo said.
“[Tamou] has been a huge difference especially coming back from his injury, he’s led the way a couple times when me and Matty Scott weren’t on our games.”
Tamou – whose form has vastly improved since Round 2 – says his side simply could not handle the onslaught earlier in the year, after being put off their game once Newcastle turned up the heat.
“I guess earlier in the year we weren’t too ready for it. Each game you can only prepare for so much and they came out with a bang,” Tamou said.
“We’re expecting that (physicality). I think with the way we’re going now we’ll be able to handle a few of their things.”
“The boys were going into games thinking the wins or the efforts will come. We know now we have to go out and do the hard yards and make sure that we get everything right. It’s a big attitude thing between then and now... that will be the difference come Saturday.”