Scott's progress leaves Murray purring - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Scott's progress leaves Murray purring

By Ian McCullough and Joe Barton 27/05/2011 07:38:51 PM Comments (0)

Former NSW and North Queensland coach Graham Murray admits he's delighted by the development of Queensland prop Matt Scott from raw-boned youngster into a world-class front-rower.

Murray, who handed Scott his first-grade debut for the Cowboys in 2004, had mixed emotions as his former charge racked up 154 running metres against the Blues in the Maroons' 16-12 win on Wednesday.

However, he said the modest 25-year-old from the tiny west Queensland town of Ilfracombe, with a population of just under 200, fully deserved his success.

"You probably don't predict that a young bloke will be a world class player, Test front-rower and State of Origin leader as it is too big a mantle," Murray told AAP.

"However, from his early days there was plenty of promise there, where we said this kid is going to be a hell of a first-grader.

"His attitude was good, he was tough, trained hard but best of all was willing to listen and take on board advice from the senior players.

"It hasn't surprised me that he has gone from one level to the next and become one of the best front-rowers in the game."

Scott clocked up more metres than the entire NSW front-row with many now calling for coach Ricky Stuart to make changes to contain him, Petero Civoniceva and Ben Hannant for the second clash in Sydney on June 16.

However, Murray insists it would be a mistake to tinker with the team and urged Stuart and Bob Fulton to keep faith with the props that lined up in Brisbane.

"I think the stats said we made 80 or 90 more tackles and they had 11 more sets of six, with those stats in any NRL game you would lose by 20 or 30 points," he said.

"To hold on like we did was a great sign and we showed some real spirit.

"The stats said that their forwards got all these yards, but we were only beaten by four points, and in the context of the game with the defending they were doing, it is hard to be making yards when you are under the pump, I think they can hold their heads up high.

"I think they need to being (Kurt) Gidley in, even if it is on the bench, but we must stick with the rest of the side, we have made the mistake too often over the years of making too many changes."

Meanwhile, the man most likely to come in to bolster the ailing Blues' pack, Canberra enforcer Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, is no certainty of being fit for selection.

Learoyd-Lahrs has not played since fracturing his eye socket in the City-Country fixture last month, but is eager to be ready for an Origin audition against Scott when the Raiders host the Cowboys next week.

But Canberra coach David Furner admits the 111kg powerhouse will be racing the clock to be fit for that showdown.

"He's going ok, he's only just getting back into training now," Furner said.

"We've got a bye this week and a full week (of contact training) next week which will give us an indication whether he will be fit to play against the Cowboys.

"I thought Matty Scott was the standout forward in the Origin actually, he was exceptional ... He led the way at the start."

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