Pommy Raiders to wilt in North Qld’s heat
COWBOYS prop Matt Scott wants to turn up the heat on Canberra's in-form Englishmen when they clash in Townsville on Saturday.
The Raiders' English contingent, which includes international dummy-half Josh Hodgson and their entire back row of John Bateman, Ryan Sutton and Elliott Whitehead, has been a force in the early rounds.
Workhorse back-rower Bateman has been one of the buys of the season but Scott believes his run of form is about to come to an end. He has the imports in his sights and hopes the expected heat and humidity of Saturday afternoon at 1300SMILES Stadium will help.
"I hope (the heat stops them)," he said. "It depends on how we play, we have talked about trying to use the heat to our advantage, but we really need to apply some pressure. We need to complete well and make sure our kicking game is strong, and that's when the heat comes into play.
"(The Raiders) have been really good, their dummy-half is one of the best in the competition. Bateman has been going really well this season, he is a good worker, very aggressive and hard to handle."
The Cowboys, however, will need to be up to the task defensively, an area in which they failed against a dogged Sharks outfit last weekend.
The Cowboys conceded seven tries in the 42-16 loss at home, including five in the 20-minute period immediately after half time.
Their veteran front-rower said the side was "embarrassed" by their efforts.
"There is a bit of disappointment obviously; our last two games definitely haven't gone the way we planned," he said.
"Everyone is still in pretty good spirits, we know it is still early in the year and we have a few issues to fix and we are ready to do it.
"It is always the quicker we get out there the better after a scoreline like that. In saying that we have had a pretty good prep, we have had a few days to work on a few issues we noticed out of the weekend and we are looking forward to Saturday."
Paul Green has taken a no-nonsense approach to training this week and it was no more obvious than during yesterday's training session, with players working overtime in defence on the tryline.
Canberra has employed a battering ram style when they are within sniffing distance of the opposition in-goal and Scott believed it would be no different this weekend.
"Canberra has quite a big pack and some guys who are very good around that tryline," he said.
"I think Hodgson is one of the best dummy-halves in the game at the moment and when he has guys like Josh Papalii running close at the line we just need to get bodies in front.
"They are a big side across the board, I know they have worked really hard in the off-season on their fitness and it seems like it is paying off so it will be a good battle."