Scott sees new attitude in 2011 squad
A LONELY session watching his teammates train this week was all Matt Scott needed to know that the demons of 2010 were dead.
Rewind 12 months and after a defeat like the one inflicted on the Cowboys by Newcastle last week, the N o r t h Q u e e n s l a n d c o - c a p t a i n reckons he would have seen a scary beast emerge within the squad.
‘‘ Negative talk and whingeing’’ may well have taken over as the might of the Melbourne Storm appeared on the horizon.
On Tuesday, though – consigned to being a spectator as he overcame a corked knee – Australia and Queensland representative prop Scott wit- nessed a Cowboys team he is adamant showed it will bounce back.
‘‘ The mentality around training, you notice the difference, there’s no negative talk and whingeing,’’ Scott said. ‘‘ We had a very tough session on Tuesday . . . and just seeing how they all went about it – no whingeing, got stuck in and got the session done.
‘‘ Another session on ( Thursday) in the heat . . . and it was the same again. You can notice these little differences from last year.
‘‘ The way we’ve been training this week I think has been testament to the character of most of the guys we’ve got in the club at the moment and I’ve got no doubt that we can bounce back from that.’’
It’s an attitude that Scott believes makes calls externally of ‘‘ here we go again’’ after the 34-22 loss to the Knights premature to say the least.
‘‘ Everyone looking from outside in, they don’t have that feeling that we have around the camp,’’ Scott said. ‘‘ We’ve been training together since November and the performance we put in against Brisbane ( in the 16-14 win in round one) was a long way from the Knights but it’s there, it’s just a matter of getting the attitude right . . . and this week it’s been spot on.’’
Leading from the front on the training paddock this week has been Scott’s fellow starting front-rower James Tamou. Given a chance to atone following a shaky showing against the Knights, the giant Kiwi has anything but gone into his shell. Scott said he expected a big perform- ance from the 194cm, 113kg prop on Monday night.
‘‘ He realises that the coaches have given him another chance and I fully agree with that, what he did for the majority of the game was really high quality, it’s just unfortunate that he had a couple of crucial errors there,’’ Scott said. ‘‘ He’s buzzed around at training . . . and I’d rather have him next to me than against me – he’s a massive unit with all the skills.
‘‘ I can’t wait to run out with him, it’ll be very good to have him there at the start of the game.’’
Scott acknowledged the Cowboys pack had plenty of responsibility to help ensure the Storm’s ‘‘ big three’’ of Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater did not pick up from where they left off against the Titans.