Queensland and Australian prop Matthew Scott has put together one of his best performances in North Queensland colours to seal a 27-14 win over Brisbane.
North Queensland co-captain Matthew Scott has put NSW on notice ahead of the first State of Origin with an outstanding game for the Cowboys against Brisbane on Friday night.
The Cowboys’ co-captain was unstoppable in the 27-14 NRL win, charging the ball up 19 times for 235 metres, including a 20m dash to fend off Ben Barba and score his third try of the season.
It was a display that Bronco Justin Hodges rated as one of the best he had seen from his Queensland and Australian teammate.
“Definitely … Matty Scott had a field day,” he said.
“He’s one of of the best props in the game … he played well and full credit to him.”
Scott said the looming Origin series had not been the spark for his dominant performance.
“It doesn’t happen too often so I’ll take it,” he said.
“I don’t expect it to happen every week.
“It makes my job easier when the team is playing well.”
Instead, he said a desire to help arrest the Cowboys’ worrying completion rates and slow starts in 2015 had been the catalyst for his Herculean performance.
The Cowboys opened the match with 14 completed sets and 14 points in seven minutes – including Scott’s try.
“It’s somewhere we had to improve on, our completions,” he said.
“When we hold the ball we can use some of that attack.”
Co-captain Johnathan Thurston was taken from the field for assessment under the new concussion rule after wearing an accidental shoulder from Dale Copley in the 26th minute, but was fine to return in the shadows of halftime.
He played a key role as architect of the win along with his halves partner, Robert Lui, who was recalled from Queensland Cup after Ray Thompson (knee) failed to pass a fitness test.
Bronco David Hala was also taken from the field after an accidental elbow from Jason Taumalolo and was unable to return.
It was a huge blow for the Broncos, who went into the match without Sam Thaiday (calf) and Ben Hannant, who was controversially dropped to Queensland Cup side Ipswich during the week.
But coach Anthony Griffin refused to blame the absence of the key men from his engine room for the loss.
“I don’t think that (Thaiday’s absence) is an issue,” he said.
“It would be great to have him … but we had enough troops out there tonight.
“We’ve got the right personnel, we’ve just got to be better.”
St George-Illawarra recruit Cameron King was solid on debut for the Cowboys, but may attract the attention of the match review committee for a suspected crusher tackle on Copley.