SCOTLAND’S Danny Addy admits the Four Nations underdogs are ready to “shove it up” Australia after what they perceived a blatant lack of respect from the world champions.
The tournament starts tomorrow night when the Bravehearts, in their maiden Four Nations, face the mighty Kangaroos at Hull KR’s KC Lightstream Stadium.
Given Scotland have a raft of Championship players in their ranks, it is easy to see why competition sponsors Ladbrokes give them a 44 point start against their star-studded opponents.
However, Addy, the versatile player who has just left Bradford Bulls for newly-relegated Hull KR, feels Australia are out of order with some of their pre-match comments, particularly from veteran Queensland State of Origin second-row Sam Thaiday saying how “embarrassing” it would be to lose tomorrow.
“I’ve read the stuff that Sam Thaiday has said and that is totally disrespectful to us,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“He’s disrespected 24 blokes there. That’s not good.
“I’ve heard they think it’d be embarrassing if we even score a try so, when we do get over their line, it will be good to shove that up them.
“I’m looking forward to that and running at him from a few rucks, too.
“Everyone knows they are a good team and we’re being written off.
“But we’re not going to be rolled over by Australia; we’ll be professional, turn up with the right attitude and we believe we’ll be good enough to cause them some problems.
“We’re looking forward to it and it should be a good game.”
With talismanic captain Danny Brough and Huddersfield Giants team-mate Ryan Brierley in the halves, Scotland do have creative potential.
They have a smattering of NRL players, too, such as Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett of reigning World Club champions North Queensland Cowboys, uncapped St George-Illawarra Dragons star Euan Aitken and Luke Douglas, the Gold Coast Titans prop who will play with St Helens in 2017.
Furthermore, many of Steve McCormack’s side have the experience of playing New Zealand in the 2013 World Cup quarter-final so that could reduce any chance of being overawed.
Addy, who played second-row then but is likely to be at hooker tomorrow against legendary Australia captain Cameron Smith, recalled: “That was a massive game at Headingley in front of a big crowd and against a world-class Kiwis side.
“It won’t be too much different to what we face on Friday – one to 17 the Kiwis were great and to be able to test yourselves against players like that is why you play.
“For 15 or 20 minutes early on we got in a bit of an arm-wrestle with them but they just showed their class towards the end.”
Addy, 25, showed his versatility further by playing at stand-off in Friday’s warm-up win over a Barrow select side.
Many feel loose-forward is his best position but it remains to be seen where he will play for Hull KR in 2017.
Of course, after spending his entire career at Odsal, Addy actually signed his deal with Rovers expecting them to be in Super League – only to see them lose the ‘Million Pound Game’ and suffer relegation to the Championship where he has been for the last two years in Bradford colours.
He has agreed to complete the move, however, and said: “Friday is sort of my first game there and, hopefully, there’ll be plenty of KR fans there to get behind us.
“(After KR’s relegation) I did have a couple of offers to go elsewhere in Super League if I wanted but my head was already at Rovers and I didn’t want to change that.
“As it was a Super League contract I’d signed that had to be changed to a different one being in the Championship but that was all; my mind never really changed so it wasn’t a hard decision in the end.
“I’m happy to be joining Hull Kingston and look forward to the new season ahead.”
Despite the fact most of Rovers’ key players have decided to stay – Scotland prop Adam Walker has joined St Helens – Addy knows how potentially tricky life could be for them in the Championship.
He was relegated with former World Club champions Bradford in 2014 and, although reaching the ‘Million Pound Game’ last year, they could not even secure a top-four place this term.
Admittedly, in 2016, Leigh Centurions did become the first team promoted since the new format was put in place but Pontefract-born Addy said: “It is going to be tough.
“You have to peak at just the right time, not only by making the top four but by doing well in the Qualifiers as well when you’re playing against Super League opposition.
“But I am confident we can have a good year and do that – get straight back up.”