They were given next to no chance of winning a game this series, but somehow, Queensland have once again earned bragging rights in the traditional interstate showdown.
NRL grand final hero Ryan Papenhuyzen is set to be ruled out of the State of Origin opener with a calf injury, forcing NSW to dip into their fullback reserves.
The Clive Churchill Medallist was next in line to replace star fullback James Tedesco should he fail to pass Saturday’s fitness test on his injured knee.
He was also under consideration for a spot on the bench.
Papenhuyzen didn’t train with the squad on Thursday, just hours before the 21-man team is set to be named for next week’s series opener in Adelaide.
“I don’t think (I’ll play) at this stage, it’s about managing the calf,” he said.
“There’s a little bit of a tear in it from midway through the second half on the weekend.
“Adrenaline kicked in there but the next day I was pretty sore.”
Papenhuyzen said he is confident the injury would be a one-week deal and he would be available for the second match in Sydney.
While Tedesco was put through his paces away from the main squad, both Clint Gutherson and Cody Walker trained at fullback during Thursday’s session.
However, the Roosters star looks set to be named in the No.1 jersey and will be given until Saturday to prove his fitness, when the team has their biggest training hit-out of the week.
Meanwhile, forward Jake Trbojevic brushed off concerns he suffered a foot injury at training after failing to complete the session.
The Manly star walked off the field and received physio treatment on his right foot, which was iced while he watched teammates go through their drills.
Prop Daniel Saifiti also didn’t train, but Blues officials said it was about managing his work load.
Both states are set to trim their squads by six players on Thursday afternoon.