But after a week of intense criticism and questioning, Brad Fittler's controversial selections, and non-selections, have been justified after NSW kept the series alive with an emphatic 38-6 win against Queensland in Perth on Sunday night.
The Maroons were totally outclassed and out-enthused by a NSW team that had spent an entire week working on working harder.
More effort, Fittler wanted. Effort he got.
James Maloney strolled into Blues camp exactly seven days ago, after repeatedly being snubbed in the weeks prior, asking the coach if he had lost his number.