Matt Scott admits fellow North Queensland co-captain Johnathan Thurston may not have hit top gear ahead of the NRL finals.
The odd couple of the North Queensland Cowboys may make a perfect fit as the NRL club’s co-captains.
But bruising prop Matt Scott concedes it has not helped give him an insight into whether classy playmaker Johnathan Thurston is in career best form.
Cowboys coach Paul Green has heaped praise on the unlikely partnership of Scott and Thurston for inspiring their run into the NRL playoffs, starting with their elimination final against Brisbane in Townsville on Saturday night.
And while the pair are tight, Scott admits two-time Golden Boot winner Thurston has set the bar so high so often it is hard to know if he has lifted it again in 2014.
Besides, Scott reckons the key to North Queensland’s remarkable surge into the NRL finals could not be credited to Thurston alone.
The Cowboys won seven of their last eight games to finish fifth overall – a run many believed was inspired by regular pivot Thurston being switched to his former halfback position.
But Scott wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t think it was that in particular – it has been the improvement of the guys around him,” Scott told AAP.
“(Halfback) Robert Lui especially the last five or six weeks and (hooker) Rory Kostjasyn – these guys have been doing a great job and taking a lot of pressure off JT.
“JT is just the icing on the cake.”
And in a major worry for rivals, Scott was also uncertain when asked if Thurston had hit top gear as the Cowboys looked to end their title drought.
“It’s hard to say,” he said.
“He’s been one of the best players in the game for a long time now, it’s hard to say if he is in career best form or not.
“He is definitely in great touch at the moment.
“And that is what he has to be in if we want to beat the Broncs.”
But Green reckoned there was no doubt his contrasting co-captains were behind their late season run.
“They’re both very different, obviously playing wise,” he said of the co-skippers who have led North Queensland to the finals each year since being appointed in 2011.
“Also in terms of their composure and their demeanour on the field I think they really do a good job of complementing each other.
“Johnno is fiery, competitive and fairly emotional where Matt is probably a little bit more calm and composed in his own way.
“I know you probably wouldn’t describe a front-rower as calm and composed but in the way he goes about doing his job, he’s good for the team in that respect.”