Queensland lock Corey Parker doesn’t think having just one out-and-out front-rower for the State of Origin opener is a gamble when that man is Matt Scott.
Matt Scott might be the only out-and-out prop in Queensland’s State of Origin line-up but Corey Parker can’t think of many better in rugby league at the moment.
Scott will aim to bring his phenomenal club form into next week’s Origin opener against NSW in Brisbane in a role that will take on added emphasis in the absence of Sam Thaiday.
Queensland’s eight Origin series wins in a row have been built on a platform of prop rotation during matches with options such as Scott, Petero Civoniceva, Steve Price, Ben Hannant and others taking turns to batter the Blues’ lines.
The Queensland stocks look a bit thinner than normal going into this year’s campaign with Nate Myles partnering Scott in the Maroons’ front-row and Parker, Ben Te’o and Chris McQueen likely to perform part-time roles.
It could lead to NSW targeting Scott in a bid to blunt his effectiveness but Parker believes the Kangaroos’ bookend will be able to repel anything the Blues throw at him, comparing him to former Queensland warhorse Shane Webcke.
“It’s just his consistency,” Parker said.
“He’s unrelenting. Every time you play him, it’s a battle.
“It’s very similar to how Webby used to play. When he’s doing that, just with his sheer determination and size, it’s going to be a battle for anyone.”
Scott has ripped apart Brisbane and the Sydney Roosters in his past two outings, dominating both contests.
His 237-metres, three line breaks, 27 tackles and a try against the Broncos should give NSW coach Laurie Daley plenty to ponder when trying to work out how to stop the nuggety 28-year-old.
NSW chose a streamlined pack for the 2012 series opener, opting for mobility over size.
That decision backfired in an 18-10 defeat with Civoniceva, Myles, Hannant and David Shillington overpowering their smaller Blues rivals.
Parker was confident the Maroons’ pack wouldn’t face a similar outcome next Wednesday.
“It’s part of understanding your role and your job as a tight forward,” he said.
“There’s not too much fancy, frilly bits on the side. Your role is to go forward. Once you understand that and start to do those things consistently, it works in everyone’s favour.”
Parker also expects a fast game on Wednesday, with new rules around the play the ball already making their impact on the speed of NRL matches this year.
“You’d assume if the same rules were applied, it will get a bit quicker in Origin,” he said.
“We’ll wait and see.”