Blues hooker Robbie Farah has pushed through the pain barrier to give his injured shoulder a workout in an opposed session despite concerned coach Laurie Daley ordering the key man to take it easy.
Farah upped the ante on Saturday morning to test out the shoulder and the grade three AC joint injury suffered in Origin I to put his mind at rest and came out of that session, and another on Sunday, unscathed – despite Daley "screaming" at him to go easy.
"We did an opposed session and 'Loz' is out the back screaming at me not to get involved," Farah said.
"But I was out there and I wanted to give the shoulder a good test, so I did a bit of contact and got through it all. It was really good for my confidence. You don't know how you're going to go until you do a bit of contact.
"You can pass and do all the ballwork you like, but until you do that, you're not too sure. I got through more than the medical staff wanted me to and I pulled up fine [Sunday]."
Farah said it wasn't a case of trying to prove he'd be ready as he knew that before the team was named, otherwise he wouldn't have risked the side's campaign by taking his place. Rather, it was more just for his own peace of mind.
"You don't want to go into an Origin game not having done any sort of contact. So for me, it just gave me a bit peace of mind and clarity knowing that I'll be OK. There's always that little bit of doubt in your head," he said.
"You've got that little bit of self doubt, just because you haven't done anything for two or three weeks but to get through that, the coaching staff weren't keen on me doing anything at all but I felt it was pretty important, just for me and I feel better for it."
Farah said he's not worried about reinjuring the shoulder as it's not the type of injury that is likely to be aggravated by playing with it, although he said he will likely need painkilling injections to make sure the injury doesn't bother him during the game.
"It's just going to be one of those things where it will just slowly improve, over the coming weeks and it will eventually get to a point where I'll be pain-free.
"I'm confident I'll be okay and I'm confident I'll back up on Friday night next week for the Tigers [in Round 15 against Manly at Brookvale, just two nights after Origin II]."
He said the instructions from coaches to go easy were because they were keen to keep the hooker in cotton wool and avoid a potential flaring up of the injury four or five days out from the game.
"The best judge of your body is yourself, if I wasn't confident I probably would have pulled myself out, but I was feeling really good and I wanted to give it a bit of a test and I got through it so it was good," he said.
Farah hasn't missed a session through the camp because of the injury and he said it was important that all 17 players were able to take part right throughout the camp.
"The good thing about Game One was the 17 guys training from day one, right throughout the camp and for me that was crucial, as one of the senior players here. So the most crucial thing I've found in terms of Origin is getting your preparation right," Farah said.
"I didn't want to go into a game with a poor preparation, personally or affecting the team's preparation. By me coming in here and making myself available to play that meant I wanted to train every session and I've done that so far."
Video courtesy of nswrl.com.au