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Cowboys hoping Scott fit to play NRL final

North Queensland hope a training run on Thursday will prove the fitness of representative forward Matt Scott before Saturday's NRL elimination final against Cronulla in Sydney.
Cowboys hoping Scott fit to play NRL final
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

BRISBANE, Sept 10 AAP - North Queensland hope a training run on Thursday will prove the fitness of representative forward Matt Scott before Saturday's NRL elimination final against Cronulla in Sydney.

Cowboys' coach Neil Henry is keen to get the Queensland State of Origin prop back from a broken finger with the Sharks boasting a powerful forward pack.

Henry said the Sharks would bring back several key players for Saturday's match and it would be a huge bonus to have Scott available.

"It's a formidable pack," Henry said of the Sharks' forwards.

"Obviously they were able to rest a few (last week against Canberra). (Paul) Gallen had to have a week off and (Anthony) Topou, Wade Graham didn't play.

"(Andrew) Fifita only had limited time on the field. They're very strong in the forwards."

Should Scott not be able to take to the field, Henry can at least console himself knowing the Cowboys were able to beat the Sharks in round 25 despite Scott suffering his broken finger in the seventh minute of that clash.

The Cowboys also went on to beat Wests Tigers in their final regular season match last weekend without their co-captain to secure a finals berth.

A six-game winning run has lifted the club into their third consecutive finals campaign and makes them the team with the best form going into the post-season.

Not that Henry thinks the Cowboys' winning run counts for much going into this weekend.

"It's a new comp for everyone. It'll be a new level of intensity for the boys and we need to be geared up for that," he said.

"We've been playing must-win footy and it doesn't change for us. What we've got to do is find another gear with our intensity."

Henry said veteran centre Brent Tate should be fit despite complaining of a sore shoulder after the victory over the Tigers, while Joel Riethmuller is also clear to play.

Scott's inclusion means Scott Bolton moves back to a five-man interchange bench.

Henry admitted he still wasn't happy with the decision by the board to terminate his services at the end of the season but praised his players and coaching staff for putting that distraction behind them to secure finals footy.

"I'd rather be making finals than not making the finals," he said.

"It's a testament to the squad that we've been able to get on a roll and maintain it.

"We've just got on with the job and been able to get some results. I'm very happy with players and we'll see how far we can go."

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Wayne Ulugia, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston, Robert Lui, Matt Scott, Rory Kostjasyn, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Joel Riethmuller. Interchange: Jayden Hodges, Tariq Sims, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo, Ashton Sims.


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