As Greg Inglis walked out of Barlow Park in Cairns on Sunday night with a thumb brace headed for hospital, his Rabbitohs teammate and State of Origin opponent Angus Crichton was signing autographs with the fans.
"What's he done?" Crichton asked NRL.com.
When told the news Inglis was ruled out of Origin III with a broken thumb that is set to sideline him for six weeks, Crichton was gutted.
"Has he? I didn't know that. That's tough," Crichton replied.
Inglis remained upbeat until the news had been confirmed. After a strong individual series as Queensland skipper, he now finds himself in no position to help the Maroons get back on track and avoid a whitewash.
Crichton will join NSW teammates on Monday in Coogee and admitted there would be a more relaxed approach heading into the dead rubber with the Blues having already holding a winning 2-0 series lead.
NSW's task is getting easier by the minute following injuries to Inglis and Kalyn Ponga and question marks over selections in the halves and forward pack.
The Maroons will name their side on Monday morning.
"We've got another long camp this time around so it will be a good time to rally with the boys and hopefully try and make it a clean sweep," Crichton said.
"It hasn't been spoken about but any sporting team wants to win every single thing they do from training sessions to games."
Crichton has only played at Suncorp Stadium once in his Telstra Premiership career and expects a fierce battle in game three with the Maroons' pride on the line.
"It's loud, I'm expecting the fans to be in our face and will be out there to throw us off," he said.
"I'm looking forward to that, I live for those atmospheres. I can't wait.
"I'm taking it as it comes and rolling with the punches. That's the plan."
Meanwhile Rabbitohs coach Anthony Siebold said Sunday's win in Cairns was a lucky escape for the Rabbitohs, who rallied from behind twice to beat the Cowboys 21-20 on the siren.
An Adam Reynolds sideline conversion hit the post before the Rabbitohs halfback slotted a field goal from in front to clinch the win.
"I haven't been happy with our starts for the last couple of games and I think again the Cowboys started better than us. We need to find a way to start games better," Siebold said.
"I was hopeful we would get back down there for another opportunity if we managed the game well enough. Reyno practices though so the first miss I knew he wouldn't go away from having another crack.
"The 10 minutes either side of half-time we put ourselves back in the game and that's what got us the result. Plenty of areas to improve. It was a good result in the end, a really tough game."
The Rabbitohs have a bye next week before a game against Canterbury on July 14.
Reynolds field goal wins it for Souths
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