The long wait by the phone may continue for Daly Cherry-Evans with maligned Queensland halfback Ben Hunt set to be retained for July 11's State of Origin dead rubber.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters is poised to keep the faith when the Maroons' game three squad is named on Sunday night, with injuries to boom youngster Kalyn Ponga (hamstring) and prop Dylan Napa (knee) the biggest concern.
The door appeared ajar for Manly captain Cherry-Evans to finally end three years in the Origin wilderness after Hunt's much criticised display in Queensland's 18-14 game two loss.
Cherry-Evans, who played the last of his six Origins in 2015, had been tipped to at least pressure Hunt for the No.7 jersey after NSW sealed their second series win in 13 years.
"Every game I wait by the phone so we'll see what happens," Cherry-Evans said of his Origin III chances after Manly's 18-10 NRL win over Penrith on Saturday.
Gold Coast Titans halfback Ash Taylor was also believed to be a No.7 option.
But Cherry-Evans may not be getting the call any time soon with Walters set to retain the bulk of his beaten team in what would be a relief for Hunt and besieged prop Jarrod Wallace.
Hunt was savaged for his inability to exploit NSW being a man down in the final 10 minutes of Origin II with the game - and series - on the line.
He also conceded the first Origin penalty try in 37 years.
However, Hunt's cause has been helped thanks to a groundswell of support in the past week.
Former Queensland captain Gorden Tallis said Hunt had been unfairly targeted after his infamous third tackle grubber that went dead with Blues centre James Roberts in the sin bin.
"One brain explosion should not spell the end of his career in the Maroons No.7 jersey," Tallis told News Corp Australia.
"Some people have suggested Daly Cherry-Evans should come in. But look at where Manly are on the ladder (13th).
"We don't make changes because someone has made one mistake."
Cherry-Evans' best bet may be as Queensland's bench utility after Ponga limped off early in Newcastle's 36-16 loss to Canterbury on Saturday.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters will sweat on scan results for Ponga who made one of the great Origin debuts in game two.
Anthony Milford may also be placed on standby for Ponga after inspiring Brisbane's 26-22 NRL win over Canberra on Saturday.
Brisbane's Joe Ofahengaue or Melbourne's Tim Glasby may be called in as cover for Napa who suffered a knee injury in the Sydney Roosters' loss to Melbourne on Friday night.
Gold Coast's Wallace is set for a reprieve despite failing to nudge 50m for two straight Origins.