NRL immortal Andrew Johns has publicly shamed Broncos enforcer Adam Blair for producing "the cheapest shot there is" in the Storm's emphatic Friday night win.
Johns on two occasions had a crack at Blair during Channel Nine's telecast of the first preliminary final after seeing the Brisbane prop regularly go after Storm superstar Cooper Cronk.
Blair has agreed terms with the Warriors for 2018 but the formal announcement has not yet been announced.
Johns has labelled Blair a "coward" for one particular hit in the second half where he hit Cronk in the back after the Queensland star had already passed the ball.
It came after Blair had also laid on late hits on Cronk throughout the first half as the playmaker was in the act of kicking.
"That's a cheap shot," Johns said after Cronk stayed down on the ground wincing in pain after the late hit.
"It's as cheap as they come. You've got a bloke giving away 30kg. It's a big man on little man. He passes the ball and relaxes. You talk about player welfare and the duty of care to players in the game and you've got little halfbacks going to the line and passing and you've got big front-rowers smashing them in the back when they're not looking.
"The stress that would put on your neck. You can see the whiplash as he goes to the line. It's as cheap as they come. The game's tough enough without these creative smaller players having to wonder about getting smashed in the back."
Johns then took an even bigger swipe at Blair after the game in the post-match wrap.
"It's a coward (act)," Johns said.
"It's absolutely dirty play. It's not needed. He sees the ball go and he's giving away 30kg to a smaller man and he hits him in the back. It's dirty play and they need to get rid of it out of the game.
"We had Johnathan Thurston earlier in the year on the Sunday Footy Show and he said the powers that be and the referees they need to look at this. He said he's sick and tired of passing the ball and not seeing the defender as they come and smash into his kidneys.
"You've got the greatest half in the game screaming out for the game to protect ball players.
"That's the cheapest shot in the game. When you hit a player behind when he's not looking.
"In years gone by, your halfback would be protected by your front-rowers and if any of that rubbish went on the punishment would be dealt out on the field, but unfortunately they can't do that now because they've sanitised the game and we're so worried that you can't throw punches, but now you can smash a guy in his back when he's not looking. Please. What's worse."
Johns also called out Broncos winger Jordan Kahu for another late hit.
Kahu came in late and dived into Billy Slater's legs after the Storm fullback had scored a try.
Kahu's hit attracted a heated response from Storm captain Cameron Smith. Johns said he has never seen Smith react like that.
"Slater scores the try and Kahu comes in late and dives on him and injures that knee," Johns said.
"Once again another cheap shot. And Cameron Smith, the captain, he has plenty to say. Once again, just not needed. You see the captain, he doesn't react ever. I've never seen him react like that, Cameron Smith.
"He's giving Jordan Kahu a mouthful."