Titans coach Garth Brennan and his players paid a massive compliment to Gold Coast's Kiwi international second-rower Kevin Proctor who was physically ill in their dressing room moments before he ran out to take on the Broncos on Sunday.
Proctor spent all night on his sick bed and was given an injection to stop him vomiting less than an hour before kick-off so he could take his place in a pack already missing Jarrod Wallace and Jai Arrow on Queensland Origin duties and had Ryan James absent until Saturday dues to the NSW Blues camp.
The shaggy-haired Kiwi is used to playing 80 minutes on the right edge but could muster only 50 minutes over two stints in an undermanned pack that lost Keegan Hipgrave after 17 minutes and had to at times use centre Konrad Hurrell in the back row.
The Titans never got into gear in the 34-0 loss to Big Brother, and Brennan was making no excuses for the team's poor performance.
However, he revealed afterward that Proctor was almost taken out of the team before kick-off.
"What people didn't now is Kevin Proctor shouldn't have played, he was vomiting and had diarrhoea in the sheds before we ran out and had to have a needle to stop him vomiting," said Brennan.
"He was up all night and was only a last-minute inclusion to play.
"He wanted to play and not let his teammates down, that's why he came off a few times. I'm really proud of his performance and to do what he did on the back of his preparation."
Teammate Michael Gordon said only some players were aware of how ill Proctor was, and they were amazed he was able to play.
Several of them attended a birthday party of Proctor's daughter on Saturday but hours later he fell ill.
"I think only a few guys knew, he doesn't like to carry on, Kevvie," said Gordon. "And he never likes to come off.
"He would have lost a heap of weight before the game and they had to give him needles to keep him from throwing up but that's typical Kevvie, he doesn't want to let anyone down.
"It was a massive effort to play 50 minutes like that."