Ashton Sims may have kept Test and NSW Origin prop James Tamou out of the Cowboys’ starting side but he is in awe of fellow frontrower Matt Scott.
He’s the man keeping Test and NSW prop James Tamou out of NRL finals aspirants North Queensland’s starting side.
But Cowboys forward Ashton Sims hopes to one day be remembered as the bloke who once rubbed shoulders with “one of the best”, North Queensland enforcer Matt Scott.
A World Cup winner and member of NSW’s drought-breaking State of Origin team, Tamou couldn’t crack the 17 when he returned from an arm complaint for a clash that should seal North Queensland’s NRL finals spot – Monday night’s home game with lowly Cronulla.
The remarkable form resurgence of Fijian international Sims – bound for England club Warrington next year – ensured that.
Sims admitted his purple patch would be fondly remembered when he regaled tales of his NRL career with his family in the future – but for a very different reason.
Asked what motivated him most about retaining his starting spot, Sims said on Friday: “Just to be playing alongside Matty Scott.
“He will hate me to say it but he will go down as one of the best forwards that Queensland have had.
“The opportunity to look back in 10 years’ time with my kids, to say I played with a guy like him, it’s definitely motivating.”
The feeling appears to be mutual.
“The last month he has been one of our best players,” Scott said of Sims.
“He has probably exceeded his own expectations.
“The amount of minutes and quality he has been playing is one of the reasons we have been winning.
“While Jimmy (Tamou) would love to be starting he knows Basher (Sims) is in some good form at the moment.
“Jimmy was just happy to be back in the side, he’s good like that – he knows he has a job to do.”
Sims said there were no hard feelings with Tamou.
“We are good mates. There are no egos in this team,” he said.
“(But) that first 20 minutes I relish. It is when everyone is all pumped up and ready to go.
“It’s sometimes hard to sit on the bench and watch all that intensity and not being out there.
“It (starting) gives me confidence that they have confidence in me – I am relishing the opportunity at this time of the year.”
North Queensland (6th; 12-10 record) can nail down a finals berth with victory over a Cronulla side without 17 regular first graders due to ASADA bans, sackings, retirements and injuries.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys have signed young Parramatta back-rower Kelepi Tanginoa on a two-year deal from 2015.