Origin is a special competition, from its unique nature fostered by a state duopoly on the NRL to the passion it ignites that is generally reserved for only the fiercest international sporting rivalries.
At one stage, Queensland playmaker Cameron Munster literally had his pants pulled down in NSW’s State of Origin II romp in Perth.
But it paled in comparison to the embarrassment Munster felt after being convincingly out-pointed by opposite number James Maloney after Sunday’s 38-6 loss at Optus Stadium.
Munster even claimed he was sweating on his selection for July 10’s series decider in Sydney, rating his display as “terrible”.
Munster was hailed as the next Origin great by former skipper Cameron Smith ahead of game two after his remarkable transformation since going off the rails in late 2017.
Yet the classy five-eighth reckoned he would be lucky to be picked for game three.
Munster struggled behind a well beaten Maroons pack and fared no better in defence, at one stage losing his shorts as he tried to stem the wave after wave of Blues attack.
“That was one of the worst games I have been involved and that is on me as well,” he said.
“My performance was terrible. Everyone has those kind of games and unfortunately that was mine.
“I need to be better if I get picked and fingers crossed I do and be better and have that belief that we had in game one.”
Former Maroons captain Smith claimed before game two that he believed Munster would stake his claim as a rugby league legend if he kept wearing the No.6 jersey after overcoming the dark days of 2017.
Back then, Munster was almost sacked by NRL club Melbourne after being sent home from the 2017 Rugby League World Cup amid reports of a fight with teammate Ben Hunt on a boozy night.
After one of the great blasts from Storm coach Craig Bellamy, Munster was given a second chance by the club – and didn’t look back.
Yet Munster believed he had taken a step backwards in game two.
Munster had a frustrating night with the boot in attack as the Maroons pack struggled.
It didn’t stop him from kicking himself over his defensive display, particularly a miss that conceded a 19th-minute try to Tyson Frizell.
“I pride myself on defence and at a club (Melbourne) that prides itself on defence but I was not up to scratch in that first 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.
“I let Frizell go through. I can’t afford that. It was an easy try for them.
“I know I need to be better and I will be better. I know that for a fact.”