Scott puts aside Origin snub to focus on Cowboys
North Queensland co-captain Matt Scott is not the kind of footballer who moans. Never has been. The veteran prop has always been a no-nonsense player, the kind that not only survives but thrives in the toughest position on the rugby league field.
It's that mindset which is apparent now as he puts aside the disappointment of his controversial omission from the Queensland side to focus on the task of reviving the Cowboys' Telstra Premiership campaign.
He has no time to think about missing out on Queensland selection as his team prepares to take on a desperate Parramatta side in Darwin on Saturday night.
Scott will be well rested after he was banned for round 12 due to a shoulder charge and in a good position to show Maroons coach Kevin Walters he deserves a spot in Origin II, but as a proud Queenslander would prefer not to be needed.
"Hopefully they get a good win and Kevvy won't have to worry about making any changes," Scott said.
"I've had a week off, I'm just trying to get back into some footy and I want to continue that job the boys did last week against Manly so not really thinking about Origin at this stage, I'm pretty keen to watch it tonight and see how the boys go."
With a return of confidence after beating Manly without their Origin stars in round 13, Scott is hopeful he can boost his side again to help them get their first consecutive wins of 2018, and possibly turn their flagging season around.
"It was great to watch the boys play Manly, it was a bit frustrating not being out there with them but they did a great job and really showed some improvements across the park so I'm pretty keen to get back out on the field," he said.
"[The Eels] get a couple of players back, Jarryd Hayne back in the side so that's no doubt going to lift them."
"I think they're still a great side obviously they've had their struggles this year as have we, it's always a danger for us when they get a few experienced guys back.
"We know the type of footy they're capable of playing, I think it's probably the best-balanced team they've picked for a while and despite their recent form, I think they'll be a handful."
The difference could be in how the Cowboys' three Origin players - Michael Morgan, Gavin Cooper and Coen Hess - back up, after a gruelling Origin game followed by a flight from Melbourne to Darwin.
"The first game back is not as hard. Morgo is going to have a bigger workload now at fullback than he would off the bench. Hessy, who knows how many minutes he'll play. I guess Morgo and Coops are the ones to worry about there," Scott said.
The Cowboys have named a 22-man squad should any of their stars not be able to back up, and Scott is confident anyone who steps into the starting 17 can repeat their effort from the win over Manly.
"I think the guys that came in did a great job, Sam Hoare, Mitchell Dunn, Kane Linnett's first game back for a while," Scott said.
"Anyone that had to come in they did a great job stepping into those gaps and I thought the team in particular really worked on the stuff we spoke about through the week so that was probably the most pleasing thing to watch."