SCOTLAND ARE the Ladbrokes Four Nations’ equivalent of Batley, Bulldogs full-back Dave Scott reckons.
Scott is hoping to end a remarkable year on another high by featuring for his home nation in the tournament which begins on Friday.
The 23-year-old winger/full-back was a key member of the Batley Bulldogs side which finished a shock third in the Kingstone Press Championship this year. He believes Scotland have similar spirit and commitment, which will stand them in good stead against Austrtalia, England and New Zealand over the next three weeks.
“This year at Batley was really special,” Scott – a former Featherstone Rovers player – reflected.
“The players and staff were a special group of people and I think we were all on the same page, all focused with a lot of energy on a common goal which was to make the top-four.
“We did that and then I think in the middle-eights we ran out of steam a bit and in some games we let ourselves down a little bit, but in some of the games we were exceptional.
“I think back to that Friday night against Leeds at Headingley when we played very well. I’ve got some really good memories of the season.”
Scotland will be even greater underdogs than Batley were this year, but Scott, who played for Scotland in the 2013 World Cup, has already had a taste of what can be achieved against more fancied opposition.
“We were little old Batley all season,” he recalled.
“We always had our backs up against the wall and people looked down at us. It’s the same sort of mentality here. People are looking down on us and we want to go out and make a bit of a statement.
“What we can bring to the tournament or do for Scotland rugby league is try and put ourselves on the map and try and build support. We have got a massive opportunity with all the media attention the tournament is getting and for the game in Scotland that is a massive thing.
“We have got to make sure we make the most of that. We’re looking forward to it.”
Scott began his league career with Hull KR, who will host Friday’s tournament opener between Scotland and world champions Australia.
“The atmosphere will be an absolute cracker, especially against the Aussies,” he predicted.
“We are playing the best team in the world.
“Our preparation has been really good and we are looking forward to the challenge. For a kid from Stirling, where there’s not too much rugby league, to be involved in a tournament like this is not too bad, is it?
“I was really pleased to be named in the squad. I know there’s a lot of good players vying for shirts in the back-three and regardless of who plays it’s important our attitude and application in training is first class.
“I am a big believer that attitude and performance in training is a healthy thing. That’s going to help us maximise our performance.
“No matter who plays, it is a strong squad.”
Meanwhile, Scott is contracted for two more years at Batley. He said: “We’ve got Matt Diskin coming in, I know he’s achieved a lot in his career and I am really looking forward to working with him as a coach.”