Origin star spills on infamous team photo
It may have been the secret to Cameron Munster's historically good Origin series.
If he could survive a two-hour Queensland team photo torture session straight after several days of Melbourne Storm premiership celebrations and no sleep, what could NSW throw at him he couldn't handle?
Like Munster's Wally Lewis Medal-winning performance in the Maroons' 2-1 series win, the 26-year-old's display while having photographs taken with his teammates before game one will go down in Origin folklore.
A two-minute behind the scenes video produced by the Maroons showed the five-eighth in horrible shape and the look on his face in the official team shot quickly became one of the memes of the season.
And on another entertaining episode of The Skipper and The Prez - a podcast where Munster chats all things footy and fun with former NRL player Justin Horo - he's revealed just how rough that day was.
Munster had attempted to delay joining the Queensland camp to keep the party going with his Storm teammates for another day or two.
He called Maroons coach Wayne Bennett to ask for a reprieve but was told to front up straight away.
"It's pretty much a blur. I've got a very vague memory," Munster told Horo.
"I was sitting there signing jerseys for the premiership and I had Cooper (Johns) on my left and Brandon (Smith) on my right … and it doesn't take too much to convince me to have a beer.
"Brandon said 'let's just make a meal of it and we'll go to Byron for a night or two, let's just celebrate a bit more'.
"And I then I had Cooper Johns in my ear and he's the best at giving a motivational speech and getting you up - and it got me up.
"So I just remember ringing (Bennett) and the call didn't take too long. It was pretty much just 'mate, get your f***ing arse here'. It didn't really go down too well."
But resigning himself to missing out on a Byron trip and actually joining camp were two different propositions.
Munster knew he was in no shape to be in a professional environment and made his ride to the Gold Coast wait for several hours.
"There was a person waiting out the front for one or two hours while I was trying to convince myself I was going into camp. So then we got to the Gold Coast and I was still off no sleep," he said.
Bad news was delivered as he arrived. He was there just in time for team photos.
"I got into camp and was told we had to do team photos and I looked at them said 'you've got to be kidding me … give me one more day, look at me'," Munster said.
"We had to do singles, we had to do team photos and we had to do the spine as well … I can't imagine what I was looking like in those other photos, but I was pretty much falling asleep in the team photo."
But he managed to survive and the rest is history. Queensland pulled off a miraculous upset and the good times continued as Munster finally made it to Byron.
From all reports on social media he delivered in spades again - except for one major let-down.
He'd promised the boys DJ Fisher - who has been prominent alongside Dustin Martin during Richmond's grand final celebrations - was going to join them. But "The Fish" never showed.
"Don't get me started. I was calling all hours of the morning, all hours of the night, trying to get him there because I got some of the boys to stay an extra night because I was that confident he was coming," Munster told Horo.
"He texted me Sunday morning saying 'sorry mate, I had a big weekend'. He ended up hanging out with Dusty and that so I can imagine why he didn't turn up.
"I was pretty filthy … but it's all right, he said he owes me one and he's not a bad person to (having owing to you) so I'll make sure I take it up soon."
As for as his place in the pantheon of great footy players/partiers, Munster humbly said he was well behind the likes of Andrew Johns and Richmond's Martin.
"There's only one Joey - and Dusty. Very grateful to be in that category, but I've got a long way to go," he said.
Originally published as Origin star spills on infamous team photo