Last year Matt Scott couldn’t watch as NSW captain Paul Gallen finally raised the State of Origin trophy at Suncorp Stadium.
Fast forward almost 12 months to the day and Queensland prop Scott reckons he has his eyes on the prize ahead of Wednesday night’s Origin decider in Brisbane despite a quiet game two.
Scott did not play Origin III last year due to a facial fracture but was in the Suncorp Stadium stands when Gallen finally got his hands on the Origin trophy.
It marked the official end to Queensland’s record eight straight series winning run.
“I think I turned away at that point,” Scott said of Gallen raising the trophy.
“I’ve seen enough replays on TV over the year to make sure it’s still hurting.”
Scott’s pride is hurting too ahead of the must-win Origin III.
The man considered the world’s No.1 prop was overrun in Queensland’s 26-18 game two loss by the likes of his Cowboys teammate James Tamou, Aaron Woods and up-start David Klemmer.
The low point came when Woods brushed past Scott – 30 later this month – to score a key try near the posts.
Overall Scott amassed an underwhelming 51m from six hit-ups and notched 17 tackles in his 38-minute display.
“I am expecting a lift from Matty definitely,” Scott’s Maroons teammate Jacob Lillyman said.
“With Matty I know he was very disappointed with game two.
“He is a great player and will be looking to bounce back.”
Queensland have reportedly won just three of 10 Origins when Scott fails to crack the 100m-barrier.
Lock Corey Parker (114m) was the only Queensland forward who made more than 100m in game two.
For NSW, Woods (153m), Tamou (105m), captain Paul Gallen (131m) and Ryan Hoffman (138) all cracked three figures.
“I think between game one and two they definitely picked up their intensity,” Lillyman said of NSW’s pack.
“There was a bit more feeling in it.
“They came out all guns blazing.
“That’s the beauty of this decider in front of our home fans – it is going to make for a blockbuster.”
Lillyman agreed with Scott that their centre field defence needed improvement in game three.
“I think everyone knows we have to step up, right across the board,” he said.
“This team prides itself on rock-solid defence and last game wasn’t good enough.”
Scott said they could also stop being “too nice” in the ruck.
“Not in terms of grubby stuff but just about slowing it down,” Scott said.
“I think the referees allowed them to really slow the play-the-ball down so that’s an area we can get better at.”