Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is still learning how to cope with the effect of State of Origin on his NRL side, but for St George Illawarra, the pain is about to get a whole lot easier to handle.
A year after their NRL campaign hit a brick wall when the Dragons supplied eight players to the two Origin sides, the red and whites are facing the prospect of having zero representation in this year's series opener.
Winger-cum-fullback Brett Morris looms as the only Dragon with a legitimate shot at the NSW side, his selection likely to be determined by what Blues coach Ricky Stuart does with Parramatta star Jarryd Hayne.
While the Storm could provide up to six players for both sides, Bellamy is facing far greater certainty that at least his big three of Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith will be there for all three games.
And having seen the fatiguing effect Origin had on his side towards the back-end of the 2011 season, Bellamy said he would take measures to avoid a repeat.
"We'll be a lot more vigilant in that area, get them through that phase of the season okay, and get them nice and fresh at the end of the season," Bellamy said on Friday.
"It is (a testing time) without doubt.
"The last couple of years we haven't had as many as we used to have, but obviously our three Queenslanders are going to be there.
"And we'd like to think that Dane Nielsen and Justin O'Neill are going to be chances, and the two Ryans (Hoffman and Hinchcliffe) for NSW.
"Until we know how many we've got in there, during the Origin period and a little bit after the Origin period, we'll certainly be managing players as individuals."
The Storm have not lost a game heading into the final round before Origin takes effect, and are short-priced favourites to go all the way in 2012.
In 2011, the Dragons had lost only one of their first 10 games heading into the representative season - their form so good one bookmaker paid out on them to win a third straight minor premiership with more than half the season remaining.
But the Dragons won just three of their next 12 games to fade from premiership reckoning - with their plethora of representative stars struggling to find their best form down the stretch.
Still holding out hope that he and a few of his Dragons teammates will be there when the NSW team is named on Sunday, Morris believes the club is better placed for last year's experience.
"It was pretty hard last year, I think we all saw what happened," Morris said.
"... you never know how many are going to get picked, but I think we'll be better prepared for it this year.
"I think we've learned from last year how much it does take out of you physically and mentally."