Maroons up against it without Matt Scott

FORMER Queensland prop Ben Ross believes the loss of Matt Scott will be a huge blow for the Maroons tonight when they desperately seek to avoid a series whitewash - their first in 14 years - in State of Origin III.

Cowboys journeyman Scott suffered a fractured cheekbone in the first half of Origin II three weeks ago and was unable to take any further part in the match.

Jacob Lillyman has been named to replace Scott in the front row for the Maroons, who will try to take something from their Origin campaign following New South Wales' first series win since 2005.

"The loss of Scott is a big thing and it is going to be hard to replace him," Ross said.

"Jacob Lillyman is a good front-rower but whether he is the calibre of Matt Scott is another question.

"I am sure Lillyman will do a job and the other forwards are equally as good as New South Wales', but you never want to lose in a whitewash and I know the boys take great pride and are extremely disappointed at how the season's turned out."

Ross said he hoped the niggle that killed the free-flowing football in Origin II would be largely absent from tonight's proceedings.

"The niggle in the second game ruined everything," he said. "Hopefully all that stuff is gone after 10 minutes so it can be a great game."



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