Tonga rates Blues rookie Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tonga rates Blues rookie Scott

By Wayne Heming 10/06/2010 01:52:51 PM Comments (0)

NSW Origin rookie Beau Scott has received praise from a most unlikely source - rival Queensland centre Willie Tonga.

The 26 year-old St George Illawarra star received his first Origin call up on Monday with coach Craig Bellamy re-jigging his back line to accommodate Jarryd Hayne as fullback for the must-win clash.

Scott, who has benefited significantly from Wayne Bennett's experience over the past 18 months, is not the flashiest centre but Tonga rates him.

Tonga will have his hands full containing Matt Cooper on Wednesday night but he admits to having a very healthy respect for Scott who has he daunting task of stopping Queensland trump Greg Inglis.

"I rate Beau Scott as a defensive centre," said Tonga, hoping for more opportunities than came his way on a wet, slippery pitch in Sydney last month.

"He's up there with the best I've ever played against.

"Matty Cooper's up there, but Scott is one of the best I've gone against.

"He reads it (defence) very well and he is deceptively strong.

"When he gets hold of you, he's like one of the Paul Bowman types, there's not getting away from him."

It's a big wrap for the former Picton Magpie who's successfully made the transition from the back-row to the centres.

One person who won't be surprised by Tonga's assessment will be Scott's NRL club team mate Cooper.

Cooper said back in April that Scott was the man to stop Queensland juggernaut Inglis.

"If NSW are looking for someone to stop Inglis, then Beauie's (Scott) the man for sure," urged Cooper after the pair starred in the Dragons' 19-6 win over the Titans.

"Beauie has been playing unreal. He wouldn't let anyone down if they gave him a blue jumper, with his strong defence.

"If he's marking up on someone like GI (Inglis), he's shown in the past he can stop him."

With a backline reshuffle which includes dropping Jamal Idris, Scott gets a chance to prove Cooper a genius.

Tonga meanwhile wants to involve himself a lot more on a dry, quicker Suncorp Stadium surface.

"Sydney was frustrating because you want to get the ball in your hands and take on the opposition," said the Cowboys wizard.

"I've got Matt Cooper against me and he's on fire at the moment.

"I really want to challenge myself out there on Wednesday night."

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