What began as a dream come true for the Fifita family ended in a nightmare for NSW coach Laurie Daley with Andrew Fifita set to miss Origin one through injury suffered in Cronulla's 42-24 loss to Parramatta.
Daley's horror 48 hours turned into the weekend from hell at Pirtek Stadium on Monday night as yet another member of the team he was set to unveil in a week's time had a red line put through his name.
With halfback Mitchell Pearce in hot water after he was arrested in Kings Cross on Saturday night and lock Greg Bird facing up to six weeks on the sidelines for a dangerous throw, Fifita's injury has sent shockwaves through the Blues camp just 15 days out from the opening game of the series at Suncorp Stadium.
Fifita, who was last week dropped from Tim Sheens' Australian team for the Test match against New Zealand, was taken to Westmead Hospital at half time for scans on the injured ankle.
It was meant to be a milestone night for the Fifita family with twins Andrew and David set to play their first game in the NRL together on a special night for the Mannah family with both teams squaring off for the Johnny Mannah Cup.
However it never eventuated with Andrew limping off the field in the 18th minute with an ankle injury before his brother took to the field.
Andrew returned to the sideline for a brief moment in the first half on crutches to wish his brother all the best and make a phone call before heading back up the tunnel and to hospital.
While it cannot be confirmed that Daley was on the other end of the line, it's understood Fifita suffered syndesmosis that is likely to rub him out of the first game of the series on May 28.
It came after a tumultuous day for Cronulla, with Fairfax Media revealing that 17 players from Cronulla's 2011 squad face possible sanctions for the club's supplement program with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority believed to be ready to issue show-cause letters as early as this week.
The Eels maintained their unbeaten record at Pirtek Stadium this year, coming back from 12-4 down in the first half when Fifita left the field to score 24 unanswered points to set up an unassailable lead.
On the eve of Origin I, Jarryd Hayne all but cemented his position at fullback for the Blues with another five star showing, continuing building his lethal combination with Will Hopoate down the right hand side of the field.
Hayne, who was also sent to the sin bin in the final minutes, brought back the plane on a night when he crossed for two tries and set up another.
The highlight of the night was his incredible first try in the 22nd minute when he beat four Cronulla players on his way to the try line from a Willie Tonga offload.
While Hopoate is unlikely to feature in Daley's NSW team in the opening game of the series, he has all but returned to the type of form that saw him represent the Blues before taking two years out of the game to go on a Mormon missionary.
The win catapults the Eels into equal fourth position on the ladder alongside Melbourne, Penrith, South Sydney, Wests Tigers and the Sydney Roosters on 10 points, four points behind competition leaders Canterbury and six points clear of cellar dwellers Newcastle and Cronulla.
Semi Radrarda, Chris Sandow, Hopoate and Tonga all grabbed four pointers, while Ken Sio crossed for a double in the eight tries to four victory in front of 12,541.
Sosaia Feki, Wade Graham, Isaac De Gois and Michael Gordon were the tryscorers for Cronulla.