Origin duo Beau Scott and Darius Boyd are set to return for Monday night’s clash against the North Queensland Cowboys at Hunter Stadium.
“Both have been cleared today and will be back for us on Monday night,” coach Wayne Bennett said on Thursday.
The returning pair however could be affected by the longer turnaround of playing on Monday after Wednesday night’s grueling encounter at ANZ Stadium.
“What I have found with Origin over the years and with my players involved is that they would rather play within 48 hours,” Bennett added.
“They are still very sore but the adrenalin is still pumping, but by Monday, each day it drains away and you feel flatter.
“Fortunately we have two experienced players who have played a bit of Origin so they will be in better shape than most guys.”
Bennett believes the 2014 Origin series is as physical as he has seen in some time.
“It was an extremely tough game last night, it wasn’t scintillating football but it was very tough,” Bennett explained.
“Both Origins have been as tough as they have been played over a long period of time of Origin. It was a real back-to-back in terms of toughness.”
Bennett praised Scott and Boyd for their performance on the big stage.
“Beau was great again last night. Defensively he was outstanding, he does a great job for them and helps to organise their defense,” he said.
“NSW’s defense won them both games.
“The wingers weren’t seeing the ball much last night, so it wasn’t going to be Darius’ night but he was good for Queensland and he never lets anybody down.”
Meanwhile Sione Mata’utia, who played in the Under 18s curtain raiser, is also set to return for the Under 20s match against the Cowboys on Monday night.