GOLD COAST, Qld - The longer Cooper Cronk remains in the Queensland State of Origin team, the more Daly Cherry-Evans stays on the Maroons bench.
Yet Cherry-Evans admits the longer Cronk features in Maroons colours, the more he learns what it takes to make it in Origin.
Cronk's miraculous recovery from a broken arm has again relegated Cherry-Evans to Maroons bench utility duty for Wednesday night's "dead" Origin game three clash at Suncorp Stadium.
At first, it appeared a cruel twist for Cherry-Evans, who looked set to play out the 2014 series as Queensland No.7 after Cronk suffered the arm fracture early in game one barely five weeks ago.
But instead of kicking stones, relegated reserve Cherry-Evans is relishing rubbing shoulders with the man keeping him out of the starting position many experts believe is the Manly playmaker's destiny.
Cherry-Evans admitted the longer Cronk stayed in the Maroons team the better it would be for him.
"His preparation and his execution are the main things (to learn from)," Cherry-Evans said of Cronk.
"(And on the field) he steadies the ship. He is controlled. He is calculated.
"That's his best attribute. It will go a long way to getting the win on Wednesday night.
"I am learning from the people around me. Everyone has the same tricks and plays, it is just a matter of execution."
Cherry-Evans was the first to admit he did not click with pivot Johnathan Thurston from the outset when thrown into the deep end early in game one after Cronk's injury.
And he sounded like a man who held himself personally accountable for NSW's drought-breaking, series-clinching 6-4 game two win in Sydney after missing a tackle on match-winning try-scorer Trent Hodkinson.