The prospects of a long-awaited New South Wales Origin series victory are declining by the day after Sydney Roosters back rower Boyd Cordner became the latest casualty in the lead up to Game One on May 28.
Cordner landed awkwardly in a 32nd-minute collision with likely Maroons winger Brent Tate and while both players appeared to shake it off, it was Cordner who left the field a minute later and would not return.
Originally it was Tate who looked to have felt the brunt of the impact and considering his history with knee problems, the worst was feared when he stayed down on the play.
Early diagnosis points towards a syndesmosis injury for Cordner, which could rule him out for Origin II.
Cordner's injury only adds salt to the wounds of a 42-10 trouncing
by North Queensland on Saturday night, spearheaded by Johnathan Thurston in his 200th game for the club. Roosters and NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce sat out the match due to a club-enforced suspension.
Coach Trent Robinson said while his side needed to address its shortcomings, he had faith they could turn the tables.
"Our boys have been great at adapting very quickly to situations, but this is one of our bigger tests," Robinson said.
"You have got to leave (these kinds of defeats) behind, but you can't dismiss it either. I don't think it was down to Mitchell (Pearce). We have enough good players to cover that, we just missed a bit of character tonight.
"There is not one thing – you can't just say there were errors or it was last tackle options, it's the finer points of the game and hard work. We have to make sure we get over it quickly but get it right quickly as well."
Despite this week's Mitchell Pearce saga, Robinson felt his side's preparation was not at all interrupted.
"Training-wise it was (okay). There are no excuses, we know our job. You can have really good weeks in footy and you can have really bad ones. Whatever week you have, it's our job to go out there and get it done both coaches and players and we didn't tonight."
In further bad news for the club, a high shot from winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck on Cowboys centre Kane Linnett will likely draw attention from the judiciary.