Scott accepts Origin omission
Disappointed, but not disheartened. That's how Beau Scott felt after being overlooked by selectors ahead of the Holden State of Origin series opener next Wednesday night in Sydney.
The Eels backrower has been a mainstay in the NSW Blues side in recent years, starting all three games in both the 2014 and 2015 series.
Having excelled at his new club this season, Scott was widely tipped to retain his role in NSW coach Laurie Daley's side as chief tormentor of the Queensland halves; namely Johnathan Thurston.
So when his name wasn't read out at Sydney's the Star on Monday morning, the 32-year-old's non-selection came as a surprise to most in the rugby league world.
"I was a little bit disappointed, as you would be. It's a great game to be involved in," Scott told media on Friday afternoon.
"Laurie's got his reasons and I support him. Hopefully the team can do us proud on Wednesday."
Scott said he appreciated being told by Daley via phone call of his omission, acknowledging how tough it must have been on his former coach.
"It's never a phone call you'd like to make. He's done it for the greater [good] of the team going forward," the Eels forward said.
"You always do [appreciate it] when someone speaks from the heart and gives you the truth behind the story."
While most players would be desperate to earn a recall, Scott saw his axing differently.
"You always hold hope of getting another opportunity… but I hope not," he revealed.
"I hope the boys play really well on Wednesday night and can claim the series in Game Two and go on from there.
"I want to see them succeed and I think they're doing the right things to enjoy the benefits of that. It's probably more of a long-term team than the last couple of years. It's definitely where the future of NSW is for Origin."
That's not to say that he wouldn't love a shot at redemption after last year's 52-6 annihilation in the decider.
"It was a bit of a sticking point as to why I wanted to be back there and sort of make amends for that," he said. "If the opportunity does arise later in the series then I'll grab it with both hands."
New South Wales' loss appears to be Parramatta's gain, with Scott's teammates relishing the opportunity to have their fearless teammate by their side.
Winger Clint Gutherson admitted he thought Scott was a "shoe-in" for the Blues and thinks the Maroons will be breathing a sigh of relief not having him out there on Wednesday.
"He's a bit of a nut on the field so I'd probably be happy not to have him against me," Gutherson joked.
"Watching him over the past couple of years as a fan of his, you would have thought he'd be there. He's been in some of the best form that he's been in. He'll probably be there the next couple of games if they don't go too well.
Teammate Tepai Moeroa echoed his sentiments.
"I'd be relieved not having 'Beauy' breathing down my neck," the lock forward said.
"I think he's what every Origin player should look to be like. He's aggressive, he runs the ball hard, he tackles hard and he works hard for the bloke next to him."
Eels centre Brad Takairangi was shocked when he heard about Scott's non-selection, but admitted it was a massive plus for an Eels side in need of a win.
"It's probably not the best thing for him but it's awesome for us," Takairangi said.
"Once the team came out I couldn't believe they didn't put him in. He's one of those players you don't realise how good he is until you play with him. He's such a tough competitor and he really stiffens up your edge in defence.
"We missed that on the weekend when he went off early with that cork so hopefully he's good to go on Monday."
Clearly stoked to have him in the squad for Monday's game against the Knights, Takairangi admitted there was one drawback from having Scott around at training.
"He's torture. He's definitely someone you don't want to wrestle with in the wrestle room."