Ricky Stuart's gut feeling saw Sam Williams rested and Aidan Sezer reclaim the No.7 jersey, but the Canberra Raiders coach plans to rotate his halfbacks again later in the NRL season to keep them fresh.
Stuart has again opted for Sezer to partner Jack Wighton in the halves when the Raiders face the Cronulla Sharks at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night.
Sezer had been kept on the sidelines by Williams' form at halfback after an early-season oblique injury.
But Stuart recalled Sezer to lead the Green Machine for their emphatic win over Wests Tigers last week, with the Canberra coach revealing after the game he had a feeling Williams needed a rest.
Stuart said, provided there weren't any injuries, he would also rest Sezer later in the season.
He expected Sharks half Shaun Johnson (hamstring), named on an extended bench, and second-rower Wade Graham to both start.
"I'm going to give Sam the weekend off, he's not going to be playing for Mounties [in the NSW Cup] either," Stuart said.
"It's important to have that. Sam's had a really big start to the year and physically I want to look after him because we're going to need him again and when he comes back into the team I want him to be nice and fresh.
"Aidan will get another spell at some stage too to again provide that little bit more energy you can get over having a week or so off ... that's my plan."
Stuart backed Cotric to hold his NSW Blues jersey for State of Origin II in Perth next weekend.
MORE RAIDERS NEWS
The return of Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) from injury has been accompanied by calls for him to return to the Blues outfit on the right wing.
But Stuart felt the fact Trbojevic had spent two months on the sidelines meant he needed more time to be ready for the Origin arena.
Blues coach Brad Fittler only has a short week to prepare for the crucial clash, which they need to win to keep the series alive, so retaining combinations from Origin I could be valuable.
Stuart said Cotric would be a long-term Blue regardless of whether he was picked to play in Perth.
"I don't know what they're thinking with selections, but I personally think he has [done enough]," Stuart said.
"Tom's been out for a long time too and they've got a very short preparation this game, the Blues ... for a very, very important game.
"I know Brad really likes what he's got there with Nick. He's a long-term Blues player whether he's picked in the next Origin or not.
"He's only a very young guy and he's still finding his position in the NRL. He has wonderful ability in being able to play centre and wing, and filled in at fullback for us last year.
"I thought he did a great job for the Blues last week under some really trying situations."
NRL ROUND 14
Thursday: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks at Canberra Stadium, 7:50pm.
Raiders squad: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Bailey Simonsson, 3. Jarrod Croker (C), 4. Nick Cotric, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Aidan Sezer, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Siliva Havili, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. John Bateman, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Joe Tapine. Interchange: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Ryan Sutton. Reserves: 18. Sam Williams, 19. Royce Hunt, 20. Michael Oldfield, 21. Sebastian Kris.
Sharks squad: 1. Matt Moylan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3.3 Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Josh Dugan, 6. Kyle Flanagan, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen. Interchange: 14. Wade Graham, 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele. Reserves: 18. Aaron Gray, 19. Scott Sorensen, 20. Billy Magoulias, 21. Shaun Johnson.