One was a teen not yet physically equipped for the demands of NRL, the other a former under-20s star convinced his chance had passed him by.
When Jesse Arthars and Ryley Jacks run out for the Titans against the Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon thoughts will turn to their initial introduction to the Melbourne way.
Initially overlooked for the South Coast team to contest the Queensland School Sport Under-18 Championship in 2015 and without any NRL prospects, Arthars was a late inclusion for the South West team and impressed Storm scouts with a two-try performance.
Jacks was a star of the under-20s competition at the Sydney Roosters but had been unable to transition into the NRL ranks until a starring role for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Intrust Super Cup brought the crafty half to Craig Bellamy's attention.
Both were subjected to the infamous IDQ ('I Don't Quit') camps and left the Storm after two years different players and different people.
"Things like the IDQ camp, I probably thought that I could never do anything like that in my life," said Jacks, who made his NRL debut for Melbourne in round one, 2017 and played 25 top grade games for the club.
"I never thought I could play NRL. And then coming out of there having achieved those things, you're just full of confidence.
"Coming out of Melbourne an NRL player having gone in not being one, that's massive.
"It was a relief to play my first game. I worked so hard to get there and that's why I owe so much to the Storm. No club wanted me at 24 – I was just a Queensland Cup player – and they took a chance on me and brought me down there.
"For them to give me my opportunity, I'm always going to be thankful to them."
A talented and dedicated schoolboy at famed Keebra Park High School on the Gold Coast, the Storm instilled the work ethic in Arthars that he intends to carry with him for the remainder of his career.
The 21-year-old was in the Storm system in 2016 and 2017 and after one season at South Sydney made his debut for the Titans in round nine this year, due to play his 10th first grade game on Sunday.
Like Jacks, Arthars was pushed to his physical limits in two Melbourne Storm pre-seasons and left with an enhanced sense of self belief.
"Starting in Melbourne was awesome for me. I feel like it started the right foundation for myself going forward," Arthars told NRL.com.
"It's just the intensity and the work ethic that they put in down there. It's second to none and I'm so grateful that I got to start there because I got to start at one of the powerhouse clubs and a club that keeps their standards so high.
"I went through that IDQ camp when I moved down to Melbourne; that was the hardest three days of my life. That was tough.
"You're just on your feet for three days straight. You get minimal sleep, minimal food and you're doing things 24/7.
"It's demanding on the body and mentally it just tries to break you. You try to push through it but it's a tough gig that one.
"After I came off that camp, whenever I do any training session I have that thought, that I got through the IDQ camp so I can get through this."
Hailing from a strong rugby league family, Jacks went to Melbourne with what he thought was a sound rugby league knowledge, knowledge that was broadened almost immediately upon entering, of all places, AFL heartland.
"I thought defence was one of the better parts of my game but I got found out in my first pre-season that it just wasn't up to NRL standard," Jacks said.
"Little things defensively that I had to improve and then overall fitness and being able to go the full 80 minutes of an NRL game.
"They'll pick up little details and just want you to keep doing it over and over again. Repetition is the big thing that they have [on the Titans] and hopefully I can bring that here if I stay on.
"They turn you into a type of player who will always give effort. You'll always be good in the little areas but off-field as well they teach you to be a good person.
"Craig's real big on that. See a person, say hello, stuff like that.
"They do turn you into a good person down there too which is important."