Forget Paul Gallen. The man Queensland monolith Jacob Lillyman truly fears ahead of next week’s State of Origin clash in Melbourne is his own teammate Matt Scott.
Lillyman not only dismissed concerns that Scott may be battling a back complaint ahead of Wednesday night’s Origin II, he also appeared to feel sorry for the Blues who had to tackle him at the MCG.
“The build of him, we call him the immovable object – it’s like hitting a bloody block of granite,” Lillyman laughed.
Scott didn’t miss a beat at Queensland’s first official training session in Melbourne on Thursday while the only other injury concern – fullback Billy Slater (shoulder) – also emerged untroubled.
“He has carried back issues throughout his career – (but) he will play,” Lillyman said of Scott.
“It just tightened up a bit, but he will be right to play.
“It would be scary (playing Origin without Scott) but he is fine.
“He has been around a while now and he will get it right by next Wednesday.”
Not that Lillyman was discounting the influence of Blues hit man Gallen.
The NSW skipper may have his haters as he returns from a hip injury but Lillyman said a quick scan of his NRL return for Cronulla provided a timely reminder of the threat he potentially posed in Origin II.
Gallen made a triumphant return from lengthy injury by producing 224m and 35 tackles in the Sharks’ 10-4 NRL upset of the Sydney Roosters last round.
“He is a massive part of their side, they will take a lot of confidence having him back in the team,” Lillyman said of Gallen.
“People may question his fitness but you look at his game for Cronulla and the stats are pretty mind blowing.
“He hasn’t lost anything. He will be fired up ready for a big one.”
Lillyman also took exception to NSW claims that Queensland dabbled in dirty tactics in game one.
“The game is so quick I don’t think you have time for the niggly stuff or dirty tactics,” he said.
“Speaking personally, you are that fatigued…those thoughts don’t enter your head.
“If you are thinking about that it could divert your attention away from what can help your team.
“I haven’t noticed anything untoward out there.”