Maroons to send SOS to Scott
DESPERATE Queensland are set to issue an SOS for Cowboys enforcer Matt Scott to inject some mongrel to a Maroons forward pack that was blown off the park in Origin I.
Maroons coach Kevin Walters confirmed on Thursday Scott is back in the Origin frame after Dylan Napa and Jarrod Wallace were mauled in the midfield in the Maroons' 22-12 series opening defeat.
Just a fortnight ago Scott's illustrious 22-game Origin career appeared to be in tatters after he was a shock omission for Game One at the MCG.
But, just like fullback champion Billy Slater last year, the Maroons warhorse can win a recall for Origin II with a form surge in the next fortnight - starting in the Cowboys-Eels clash Saturday night in Darwin.
The Napa-Wallace starting alliance failed to stamp their authority against a NSW pack that ran riot in midfield, prompting Walters to consider an Origin lifeline for Queensland's best prop of the past decade.
"We'll certainly be looking at Matt Scott," Walters said.
"I have always been a fan of Matt Scott and his performances over the next few weeks for the Cowboys will be really important for what we are trying to achieve in Game Two.
"Our midfield wasn't good enough.
"We had too many missed tackles through there. While NSW weren't as dominant through there as much as the scoreboard shows, we just weren't consistent enough through the middle and also with our edge defence.
"We didn't have enough confidence to get ourselves back in the game, we seemed to always be battling to get back into the game, which is never a good thing at Origin level.
"After the game, I wasn't unhappy with the guys' effort, but we need to get our execution better in defence and attack."
Sources close to the NSW camp said even new Blues coach Brad Fittler was surprised by Scott's omission for Origin I.
The Cowboys co-captain produced his best game of the season against Melbourne just two days before the naming of Queensland's team for Game One, but Walters opted for the Napa-Wallace union.
Walters cited concerns about a fresh knee injury that Scott sustained the previous week against Souths, but the Maroons hardman assured Queensland he could get the job done.
Last year, following Queensland's 28-4 mauling in the opening match, Walters summoned Slater to rescue the Maroons and now he believes Scott's experience and presence can help save the series.
Slater, a late scratching for the MCG opener with a hamstring injury, is adamant Scott - one of just two survivors from the 2006 series triumph that launched the Maroons' dynasty - can make a difference.
"We definitely need him," Slater said. "Matt is a great prop and has been a wonderful player for a long period of time.
"I thought our middle worked really hard, so there's some choices there for the selectors. Whether they go with Scott or not, everyone puts in for Queensland and we will again in Game Two."