Bulldogs utility Moses Mbye has been pushing Josh Reynolds for his No.6 jumper all season long, and considering the latest indiscretion from the competitive five-eighth, Mbye's inclusion in the halves for this weekend's game against the Cowboys is set to once again complicate Reynolds' Origin recall.
Feeling the pinch about missing an opportunity to face off against Cowboys and Queensland half Johnathan Thurston on Saturday night, Reynolds took the early guilty plea for his attempted trip on Tariq Sims in the annual Country v City clash on Tuesday meaning he'll spend a week on the sideline.
It is clear Reynolds hasn't had the best of seasons thus far – a fact which has been best showcased by the constant scrutiny his spot in Laurie Daley's Blues side has been under.
Mbye filled in three times at five-eighth when Reynolds fractured his arm earlier in the year, and kept the incumbent Blues No.6 on the interchange for a fortnight following his return.
The final chance for Reynolds to impress New South Wales selectors – coincidentally against fellow Origin hopefuls, the Roosters halves – may see him benched by coach Des Hasler.
However, an honest Mbye – who has been playing solidly in the centres for the past fortnight – said he was more disappointed for his teammate rather than happy to get another chance in the halves.
"Obviously he's upset, he's such a competitor and there's no malice in him, he just competes so hard because he doesn't want to get beaten. Things just go wrong in a contact sport sometimes," Mbye said.
"It's unfortunate for Josh. He's obviously made a couple of wrong decisions during games but in regards to the number six I'm not in power to decide anything.
"It's up to our coaching staff to decide who will play in that role but there's no doubt he's a great player and one of the best halves in the game, he helped New South Wales win an Origin series last year and hopefully he'll have a crack at another one this year."
Bulldogs and New South Wales centre Josh Morris also weighed in on the debate of whether Reynolds and teammate Trent Hodkinson should earn a NSW reprieve.
"I'd love for Trent and [Josh] to be there because obviously they're the incumbents but everyone's name is getting thrown up at the moment and the thing with Origin is you never see it until your name is read out," Morris said.
"You just have to do everything in your power to try and put the best case forward to be selected. It's like me I suppose; I feel my form before I was injured was good so hopefully I can pick up where I left off."
Meanwhile, Morris has declared himself a certain starter to play the Cowboys.
"On Monday our trainer took me outside and absolute flogged me. It all responded well so that was like my fitness test to ensure I get to play against the Cowboys. It was probably make-or-break for me so it was good to get through it," Morris said.
"There was a fair bit of conditioning involved mixed with a lot of agility to test out my ankle. Obviously there's tackling and wrestling too just to see if there's any movement in the joint but there was no issue there so I came out of it with a lot of confidence.
"It's been frustrating sitting there for four games, but the boys have had a week to freshen up and others will take lots of confidence out of playing on the weekend [in the Rep Round] and we're getting troops back as well which will only help us."