IN THE DRIVING SEAT: Matt Scott gets ped
IN THE DRIVING SEAT: Matt Scott gets ped DAVE HUNTAAP

Ross likes the look of Scott for Origin clash

SUNSHINE Coast product and former Maroons forward Ben Ross reckons hulking front-rower Matt Scott is primed to lead the charge for Queensland in this year's State of Origin Series.

Ross, a tough-as-teak prop in the mid-2000s, believes the 28-year-old is in career-best form and set to unleash in his 15th Origin match tomorrow night.

"They always say that front rowers get better with age and I think he's really proving that," he said.

"His last three games in club footy have been outstanding and I'm hoping he takes that into the series."

Certainly, Scott has been a prevalent force in recent weeks.

He chalked up 237 metres and made 27 tackles to propel the Cowboys to a crushing win over Brisbane and then churned out 154 metres and made 21 tackles against a testing Roosters pack.

"He's that traditional strong-running front-rower," Ross said.

"He's no-nonsense, straight up-and-down and he's got that physical presence to lead by example. And he doesn't really make mistakes."

Plenty of modern forwards like to step, dummy and offload but Ross said it was Scott's more direct approach that made him a more serious threat on the sport's biggest stage.

"THAT'S the thing. People talk about the brilliant kind of footy players that come through - the fancy players - but I think Origin is built on physical toughness and that brutality kind of thing and Matty Scott is made for that," he said.

"I think that's what Queensland has been based around for the past few years - having that physical presence."

Queensland is striving for its ninth straight series success.

"New South Wales has always had a really strong forward pack and I think over the last few years they've matched it with the Queensland forwards, but my heart lies with Queensland and I think Matty Scott is playing some enormous football at the moment and he will lead through the Origin series," he said.

Ross, 34, is the Men of League welfare manager and will be at tomorrow's match at Brisbane, where he nevertheless expected New South Wales to provide a stern test.

"I think it's a scary thing for Queensland at the moment being eight up and going for nine," he said.

"It's going to be tough for them because I think New South Wales has picked a really good team and the form of their halves (Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds) speaks for itself, and with five other Bulldogs in the side it's a combination that will be beneficial to them."

He expected Maroons back-rower Chris McQueen to lift for the occasion.

"I think he is going to be a pretty big factor in that left side of defence," he said.

"I know he's playing off the bench at the Rabbitohs at the moment but they talk about Queensland players coming into the Origin fray and they always seem to stand up at the time (when it counts)."


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