KANGAROOS prop Matt Scott has predicted a fierce pack battle could be crucial in deciding who will claim the World Club Challenge.
North Queensland Cowboys’ co-captain is certain to be integral as they face Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Sunday night.
He was instrumental as they finally won their maiden NRL Grand Final last October to set up this showpiece and – for all of Leeds’s injury worries – is well aware of some of their threats up front.
“I played a lot of footy against Keith Galloway and I know Adam Cuthbertson,” said Scott, about Rhinos’ two Australian props.
“They are both high quality players. I think it will be a great forward battle. It’s going to be tough. Leeds have experience on their side while we’ve a relatively young team and a lot of guys who have not played over here before, so it will be a hard match.
“But it’s an honour to be able to come over and take part. Obviously it’s a bit colder to what we’re used to in Townsville, but we can’t wait for Sunday.”
The Queensland State of Origin prop admits the highs of winning that famous golden point extra-time Grand Final against Brisbane Broncos remain so fresh.
“It was a great experience,” he said, recalling Johnathan Thurston’s dramatic drop-goal that secured the title. “We couldn’t have written a better script to finish the way we did. We’d got ourselves into that situation a few times during the year and JT managed to kick a few field goals, and he did it again.
“It was great to be a part of it and to bring a Premiership title to North Queensland for the first time like that.”
The Cowboys had endured so much agony in previous play-offs – he was 18th man in their 2005 Grand Final loss to Wests Tigers – and the 30-year-old conceded: “We’ve been close a few times. We’ve had great sides over the years and a few unlucky losses during finals. But I knew with the arrival of Greeny (head coach Paul Green) and some of the other staff that we’d only get better and better chances at it. And we got it last year.”
One of those staff was Jason Demetriou, the former Wakefleld Trinity captain who was such a legend at Belle Vue and coached Cowboys’ reserve grade side Northern Pride last season as well as aiding the first team.