NSW Blues enforcer Beau Scott is making no secret of a plan to resume targeting Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston in next Wednesday’s State of Origin opener.
Thurston was left fuming after coming in for heavy treatment as Scott helped Newcastle beat North Queensland in round two of the NRL season.
The superstar was crunched late three times and left with a black eye while Scott was charged with a dangerous throw on Thurston but escaped suspension.
Scott says he will again be out to unsettle the Maroons playmaker in Origin I at ANZ Stadium.
“It’s sort of the role of the people that play in my position – to shut down the halves and the five-eighths of the team and the ones that make the difference,” he said.
In the fallout from the Knights’ fiery meeting with North Queensland in Townsville, Thurston said he would expect Newcastle players to take more care not to tip players on their heads in the wake of the Alex McKinnon incident.
Newcastle great Andrew Johns described Scott’s late tackle on Thurston as a “cheap shot”.
With NSW’s Bash Brothers – Paul Gallen (hip) and Greg Bird (suspension) – missing, the Blues will look to Scott to provide extra defensive starch and put the Maroons off their game.
While Scott will be the side’s new chief enforcer, he predicted debutants Josh Jackson and David Klemmer would provide plenty of mongrel as well.
“I’m sure they’re both willing to put their hands up and they’re both big boppers,” Scott said.