Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Brad Takairangi has said the Blue and Gold missed second-rower Beau Scott in their Round 11 loss to the Melbourne Storm.
Scott left the field in the opening forty minutes with a corked thigh, and Takairangi said the Eels would welcome back his trademark grit on Monday night against his former team, the Newcastle Knights.
“We definitely missed him on Monday,” Takairangi said.
“You don’t realise how good he is until you play with him; he’s such a tough competitor and he really stiffens up your edge in defence.”
“He just brings out that tough edge, that talk, that steel in defence. It’s probably not the best thing for him [the he isn’t selected in the Blues side] but it’s awesome for us.
“Hopefully his cork’s ready to go and he’ll be there on Monday.”
Takairangi admitted that Scott’s take-no-prisoners attitude isn’t just contained to game day, but is just as obvious at training sessions.
“Our wrestle sessions, our defence sessions, he just brings so much experience and toughness. It definitely rubs off on the players where he’s there.”
“He’s definitely someone you don’t want to wrestle with in the wrestle room … he’s torture!”
Following speculation around prop Junior Paulo seeking an early release to begin his time at the Canberra Raiders, Takairangi said the front-rower would have the unequivocal support of his teammates regardless of his contract status.
“If he has to go earlier this year, it’s going to be a big blow for us, but nothing stands in the way of family for us,” Takairangi said.
“He’s one of my best mates and anything eh has to do for his wife and his two kids, he has our full support, from all the boys.”
The Blue and Gold will look to restart their season on Monday night with a win against the Knights after disappointing back-to-back losses.
“We’ve had two bad losses: one we should have won against Souths, and Melbourne were too good for us last week, so it’s important that we get our season back on track starting this week against Newcastle,” Takairangi said.
“We’ve got a real tight group here, all the boys got each other’s backs. We’re all really close and we’ll stick strong.”
The Eels kick off against the Newcastle Knights on Monday, May 30, at 7pm at Newcastle's Hunter Stadium.