Parra pack happy to follow Scott's lead
He's a 31-year-old journeyman at his fourth NRL club but young Eels forwards say Beau Scott is the inspiration behind their hard-nosed approach that has transformed them into one of the most resolute defences in the Telstra Premiership.
Heading into Round 9 only the ladder-leading Broncos have conceded fewer points than the Eels who were ranked 13th in the same category last season and the tenaciousness of Scott and captain Kieran Foran are the examples others are following.
Lured away from Newcastle a year before his contract was due to expire, Scott was seen by Parramatta coach Brad Arthur as the cornerstone of the harder edge he needed to instil into the side and players such as Kenny Edwards have jumped on board.
"You can't say enough about Beau Scott and what he's added to our pack and our defence," Edwards says in the Round 9 issue of Big League.
"He brings experience that we can all buy into. He's won a premiership, he's played in good sides, under Wayne Bennett, Origins and for Australia.
"Whenever he speaks blokes like me and Manu [Ma'u] just lap it up. When he's running blokes down and making hits, we try and jump on the back of that."
Written off by many critics at the start of the season as not having the forward firepower necessary to be a premiership force in a pack already full of toilers and ball-players, Arthur recognised the need for an enforcer – someone who could execute with precision and inspire his young and impressionable team-mates to do the same.
Narrowly ahead of fellow intimidators Tepai Moeroa and Ma'u for the most number of tackles for the team this season, Scott does more than inspire big hits – he rounds out the dynamic of the pack, adding defensive steel.
"Me and Manu, we're the opposite of players (like Scott)," adds Edwards.
"We're offensive players and he's more of a defensive player, so the dynamic that we've got in the team is good.
"We were rated 14th or 15th for our forward pack, so we talked about that in the off-season. We don’t have anything to prove, we just want to show each other that we're capable of beating those big packs."
The Round 9 issue of Big League is on sale now from newsagents and at the ground. Digital version also available via www.zinio.com.