'Dirty tactics': Cowboys accuse Sharks of targeting Scott

North Queensland forward Gavin Cooper has lobbed the stunning accusation that the Sharks targeted Matt Scott's knee in Friday night's NRL opener.

But after the man himself refused to say it was anything out of the ordinary, Cronulla's Wade Graham hit back to say they couldn't afford to target one Cowboys player.

After testing his fitness in the trials, Scott made his official return from a knee reconstruction in North Queensland's 20-14 home win over the Sharks.

Cooper claims he noticed Cronulla's alleged acts from close range and informed the referees at the time.

“I think there was a few little dirty tactics, a couple of guys twisting his leg and stuff like that that the refs missed,” Cooper told reporters.

“(It’s) pretty disappointing after what he’s been through, and some of the stuff that’s been made of guys injured that people know about.

“There was a couple of things I saw that the refs missed. Hopefully we stamp that out of the game.”

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Matt Scott. Pic: Getty

Scott, who started at prop, only mildly attempted to hose down Cooper's dramatic report.

The 32-year-old intimated that he noticed the extra attention but would not seek punishment for his opponents.

“No, not targeted too much mate," he said.

"Any time you come back from a long term injury, you expect to get it tested out a little bit. I’ll leave that on the field, you can have a look at the video.”

In response to the claims, Sharks forward Graham denied Cooper's accusations and invited the Cowboys player to face up to his own team's forward pack.

"I don't think we were targeting anyone's knees," he said, via Sporting News.

"It's no secret the system in the NRL every team goes two men up top and one below to try and help him get down.

"Coops has got an opinion. He probably just can't get down that low, he's too tall.

"We weren't targeting anyone to be honest. We know they have a great forward pack. Their starting middle is (Jason) Taumalolo, Matt Scott and Jordan McLean.

"Gav should try and play for us and try and tackle them up top and see how he goes. They're pretty big boys and you've got to go low on them. There wasn't anyone being targeted."

Scott laid 16 tackles and ran for 94 metres in the victory.

The Cowboys and Sharks won't meet again until August, when North Queensland travel down for a Saturday night clash in round 23.