"I was just checking on a mate."
Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey offered up this humble assessment when asked why he wandered into the Sydney Roosters' dressing room and sat down next to Latrell Mitchell, during their recent round-15 match at Allianz Stadium.
The pair sat there watching the game on the TV on the wall – Mitchell had been brought from the field on a medicab in the 50th minute with a neck injury and 11 minutes later Peachey was sin-binned.
"I just saw that he was in heaps of pain, or at least looked like he was hurting bad," Mitchell told NRL.com as he and Mitchell were reunited for a third time in the NSW Origin camp at Coogee.
"I didn't get the chance to say, 'Hope you're OK; good luck' when I was on the field. And then I got sent off so I went to find him.
"I'd never been sent off before so I didn't know what to do. So I headed for the Roosters rooms."
The gesture went viral on social media with many applauding Peachey for his thoughtfulness.
"I spoke to his old man yesterday," Peachey said on Tuesday, "And he and Latrell's mum just cried when they saw me checking on him. I didn't really know the cameras were there. I thought it was private.
"But afterwards everyone told me how proud they were of what I did.
"I'd been in camp with him all week. He is a good bloke. I just wanted to make sure he was alright."
Peachey and Mitchell were laughing together during Tuesday's light training run, just like old times.
While Mitchell has played all 160 minutes of the Holden State of Origin series, Peachey has barely racked up 20 - just seven minutes in game one, 11 in game two.
"It's just the life of a utility and the way these games pan out. There's limited chances to go on," Peachey said.
"But if I have to do the same thing [small minutes] in game three then I'll still be happy.
"As long as I'm in the team and we're winning, that's all that matters."
Unlike so many of his Blues predecessors, Peachey has a winning Origin series on his CV, even if his minutes have been minimal.
But Peachey has been given maximum responsibility to plug any hole at any time.
When centre James Roberts was sin-binned in the 69th minute of Origin II with the Blues clinging to an 18-14 lead, it was Peachey that Blues coach Brad Fittler turned to.
Peachey made six runs for 54 metres, a kick and a grubber, along with 21 post-contact metres. He was more than a handful for exhausted Maroons forwards trying to capitalise on the 12-man Blues.
"I didn't think I was going to get on at all in that game. But then Freddy put me on after that sin bin. I just didn't want to let him down when I got out there," Peachey said.
"I'd been in a couple of City Origin camps with Freddy and it's been the same utility role here in Origin – he hasn't changed a thing. So I've known what my role was going to be.
"Freddy and his staff know what they're doing. I'm happy to play the role that I am.
"There's nothing I can do about it [limited minutes] so I'll just stay happy."
At least he can tell his grandchildren that he was a part of the 2018 Origin series win by NSW.
"I'll tell them I played all 80 minutes every game, and won man of the match!"
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 3 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Nine Network
Origin at Suncorp, there's nothing like it! Game III tickets available here