Ben Hunt will head home to Queensland to get away from rugby league as he fears his end-of-season form with St George Illawarra may have cost him a possible Australian jersey.
The form halfback of the first half of the competition, Hunt has been beaten from pillar to post in recent months before his difficult end to the season culminated in Saturday's 13-12 semi-final loss to South Sydney.
After looking as if he was set to prove his critics wrong with a strong start at ANZ Stadium, Hunt admitted he got the Dragons' final attacking play wrong when opting to run the ball on the last with a minute to play instead of kicking down field.
Ultimately, the Rabbitohs received a handover on halfway which set the scene for Adam Reynolds to slot the decisive field goal.
Hunt's call attracted criticism from all quarters, with Peter Sterling labelling it the "dumbest play of the year" on Nine's Sunday Footy Show.
And Hunt, who got the ball at second receiver after positioning himself deep and passing to stand-in five-eighth Kurt Mann, admitted he'd erred in his decision-making.
"It was a pretty big error by me, to be honest," he said.
"I thought we had a few numbers on the edge there and I tried to shift the ball.
"I should have just played the percentage play and kicked on the last down their end."
Hunt began the year as one of the league's highest-profile signings, but the criticism following Queensland's State of Origin loss and during the Dragons' slump was so loud that fellow players spoke out in support.
"It's been a bit of a rollercoaster year ... there's been some good times and some hard times, some lessons learned. Overall I've been quite pleased with the year," Hunt said.
"You learn different things along the way about how to handle it, how to get away from it and manage things and I've found it pretty hard.
"I'll have a little reflection, but I'll get completely away from footy, I'll go up to Queensland and spend some time with family and friends and get away from it all."
Hunt was a member of last year's World Cup squad, and could earn a bench utility spot for the Kangaroos' Tests against Tonga and New Zealand next month with Michael Morgan unavailable and Kalyn Ponga possibly requiring surgery.
"Going off form I probably haven't done enough at the end of the year," he said.