Indigenous All Stars winger and player of the match Jaime Chapman was in doubt right up until captain's run but brushed off fitness concerns to leave a huge mark on her side's 18-8 win.
The Dragons flanker bagged two tries – one of them a length-of-the-field effort that truly tested her troublesome calf – and almost had a third in a Trish Hina Medal-winning performance.
"I had to do a fitness test on Friday morning to see if I was allowed to play," Chapman told NRL.com.
"I've had a niggling calf injury, recurring for quite a while but with the physio and all the coaching support they helped me recover and my physio for the Dragons, I've had a lot of support around me which is what made this game happen."
Her efforts drew heavy praise from her coach Ben Jeffries.
Jaime Chapman's Trish Hina Medal performance
"Jamie has had some adversity thrown at her all week," Jeffries said.
"For a young girl to come in, she was pretty much wrapped up in cotton wool, she didn't know if she was playing, she had a fitness test Friday morning and then obviously played.
"How she played and for a young girl not knowing if she was going to play or not to prepare herself mentally and then go out and produce that, it's a really special moment for her and that could be the turning point of her career even though she's only 20 this year.
Indigenous Women's Unity Dance
"She's had a tight calf all week. She didn't look crash hot Tuesday but she's done all the work along with Mel our physio who's done an awesome job with the girls all week."
Chapman said she didn't let the uncertainty affect her mental approach to the game.
"I always stay positive like I'm going to play, always ready to play and if the outcome was bad I would deal with that but always positive and in the mindset to play and I was ready," she added.
Scooping up a loose ball with 80 metres of open pastures in front of her, there was not even a thought of preserving her calf.
"No way, all for the team!" she laughed.
"I saw that space ahead of me and took the opportunity while I had it so I was really excited as you could tell from the grin on my face, I was over the moon."
Jaime Chapman's All Stars double
A proud Kamilaroi woman, Chapman appreciated spending plenty of time in All Stars camp on the players' cultural history.
"This year we spent a little bit more time focusing on our culture so we got to immerse ourselves in our culture, spend time with some ancestors, dance practice and putting our totems into the dance," she said.
"To do that performance in front of our mob and our families was an honour.
"I've known about (my background) for quite a long time … with the All Stars chance I definitely get to learn more, I immerse myself in my culture and I get to be passionate about my Kamilaroi tribe and let everyone know where I'm from rather than being so quiet and low key."