A calm and composed Curtis Scott says he feels like his old self after enduring a turbulent year off the field that threatened to derail his career.
The 23-year-old was tasered by police on January 27 last year and charged with assaulting a police officer among other things, only for the charges to be dismissed in a case that dragged out until September.
Scott hadn’t played a game for his new side the Raiders when the incident occurred but maintained his innocence throughout and was eventually justified in court.
He, like everyone else, struggled through COVID, but his case was made worse by living in a new city with few familiar faces to support him after everything he’d been through.
Scott’s season was eventually cut short by a leg injury, but he has bounced back from those dark times and is starting to return to the form that helped the Storm win a premiership in 2017.
“I just feel like myself again,” the young centre said following Canberra’s gritty 12-10 win over Cronulla.
“I had a pretty tough load last year, but that’s all behind me now and I can just focus on my job.
“It’s been much easier for me to make relationships with the boys this year, and I think that goes a long way because once you’re out on the field, it makes you work that extra bit for your mate. I feel like I’m in a good headspace and I’m enjoying my footy.”
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Scott came up with one of the biggest plays during Sunday’s win at Kogarah when he toed through a loose ball and then out-enthused two Sharks players to pounce on the footy.
Hudson Young scored a couple of plays later as the half-time siren sounded, with George Williams’ conversion proving the difference in the end.
The Raiders’ new-look right edge combination is starting to flourish, and Scott puts it down in part to being able to socialise with his teammates away from the daily grind of life in the NRL.
“I didn’t really get out much so I just stuck to myself and tried to hold myself together. This year has been much easier to connect with everything,” he said.
“It was a pretty disruptive year with COVID and all the stuff that was going on behind the scenes, but it’s my second year now and I’m feeling a bit more confident fitting into the team, and I think that’s showing.”
Weight gain can be an issue in the pre-season for some players, but Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was thrilled to see Scott bulk up because it’s allowed him to be the aggressive centre the side missed last year.
“Curtis is a completely different person today than what he was this time last year,” Stuart said.
“You’ve only got to look at him physically. I think he’s mid-90s (kilos) now in body weight, (compared to) when he came back under a fair bit of stress and pressure last year when he was 89-91 kilos.
“He plays a physical game and you can’t play at that body weight with the lack of strength that he had. It’s good that he’s put that behind him now and is turning that around.”
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