Snubbed Scott powering Cowboys' engine - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Snubbed Scott powering Cowboys' engine

By Laine Clark 24/05/2009 12:16:54 PM Comments (0)

Cowboys prop Matt Scott has been snubbed by State of Origin selectors and not impressive enough for the North Queensland hierarchy to re-open contract negotiations.

But it seems he won't be flying under the NRL's radar for too much longer.

Especially if his form resurgence continues when the Cowboys (9th; 5-5) try to ambush Newcastle (4th; 7-3) in Townsville on Monday night.

For the past month, Scott has been one of the first names uttered by coach Neil Henry when asked about their remarkable season turnaround.

While the limelight has been stolen by rejuvenated captain Johnathan Thurston, Scott is used by Henry as the yardstick for his pack.

A quiet season start by Scott - and as a result North Queensland - ensured the forward bred in real Cowboy country, Longreach, could not even make the initial 25-strong Origin squad.

But after stringing together 10 games for the first time since 2007, the injury-plagued prop is back in the starting front-row - and his very best form.

"I think the key has been just getting a few games in a row under my belt," Scott said.

"I have been disrupted with injury over the last couple of years.

"But (new coach) Neil Henry has been great this year as a coach and the team has been going well which helps the individual (form)."

Without being arrogant, Scott admits his go-forward, along with Shane Tronc and NSW Origin hopeful Luke O'Donnell, has been "crucial" to their recent success.

The Cowboys have bounced back from a 1-4 season start to win four of their last five games, setting up an intriguing arm wrestle with the Knights, who have won six of their last seven.

Yet the Cowboys still want to see more from the off-contract big fella, suspending negotiations until the end of the season.

Scott is in better form than when he earned a surprise Queensland Origin nod in 2006.

While the Maroons side is named on Tuesday, Scott was clearly worrying about one thing on Monday night - the Cowboys.

"Definitely not (thinking about Origin). I don't think so - I would think the team has been picked already and they (selectors) are very loyal," Scott said.

"Queensland has been going great the last couple of years (three straight series wins) - I don't think they are going to change too much."

That's not good news for his Cowboys teammate Matt Bowen.

After pushing Scott's Origin attributes, the livewire former international admitted he was keeping his "fingers crossed" for a Queensland recall.

"I think he (Scott) has shown in the last couple of weeks what he can do," Bowen wrote in his Townsville Bulletin column.

"I think sooner rather than later he'll be back in the Origin mix."

After being asked to "step up" by Maroons coach Mal Meninga earlier this season, Bowen is confident that he has responded, showing flashes of his brilliant best.

"I've always got my fingers crossed. You want to play Origin, that's what you play footy for," Bowen said.

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