There was plenty of battered pride but NSW prop Aaron Woods said his suspect hamstring pulled up well from Wests Tigers' 36-0 NRL loss to Brisbane.
James Tedesco of the Blues, Aaron Woods of the Blues and David Klemmer of the Blues sing the national anthem before game three of the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium.
And the Tigers have backed James Tedesco to retain the Blues No.1 jersey when the NSW team is named on Monday night, despite a frustrating match against the Broncos.
Incumbent NSW front-rower Woods returned from the injury that forced him to miss the trans-Tasman Test in Brisbane's six-tries-to-nil rout at Suncorp Stadium last night.
The Tigers captain ensured some anxious moments for Blues coach Laurie Daley when he received extensive treatment on his hamstring at halftime and started the second stanza on the bench.
After making a second half return to the field, Woods claimed he had emerged from his injury comeback unscathed.
"It was good to get the game under the belt, it was just frustrating the way we played," Woods said.
"The hamstring is alright. I didn't really worry about it too much during the game."
It would be a big relief for Daley who is expected to rely on Woods to lead the NSW pack in Paul Gallen's absence.
Former Blues skipper Gallen retired from representative football at the end of last year and is not expecting a recall despite playing in the recent NSW City- Country clash.
Canterbury's David Klemmer and Cronulla X-factor Andrew Fifita are believed to be vying for the prop vacancy created by Gallen.
Woods combined with Gallen to help NSW win the third Origin clash last year.
Former Blues prop Tim Grant said Tigers teammate Woods deserved to keep his Origin spot despite his injury-affected lead-up.
"For sure, he is one of the pillars of the NSW team," he said.
Tedesco is also expected to feature in Daley's team despite a night to forget against Brisbane.
The Tigers fullback couldn't take a trick, having three tries disallowed and copping a second half sin bin stint for a professional foul.
Brisbane scored two tries while Tedesco was sidelined.
Tigers coach Ivan Cleary believed Tedesco had done enough to hold out the challenge of rivals Jarryd Hayne of Gold Coast, Penrith's Matt Moylan and North Queensland No.1 Lachlan Coote.
"I thought every time he touched the ball (against Brisbane) he looked dangerous," Cleary said.
"I would expect him to be picked for sure."
Grant described Tedesco as "the best fullback that NSW have to offer".
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