Shaun Kenny-Dowall played down a comparison to South Sydney legend John Sattler, despite fighting his way through nearly the entire grand final with a fractured jaw.
In one of the most courageous performances in recent memory, the man who scored the go-ahead try in the Sydney Roosters' thrilling 26-18 win over Manly spat out a tooth and a heap of blood early in the first half before electing to play on.
Kenny-Dowall refused to tell teammates or coaching staff of his discomfort, but club doctor John Orchard confirmed post-match that he'd suffered a hairline fracture.
Sattler famously played on with a broken jaw in the 1970 decider, but Kenny-Dowall said he just didn't want to let his teammates down.
"I wouldn't compare myself with that," he said.
"I didn't want to let my teammates down and that's all I was really thinking about.
"I knew something was wrong - I started spitting out blood. I concentrated on doing my job for 80 minutes and that's all I was thinking about.
"It did swell up and I didn't want to tell anyone. I didn't want them to think I was in pain or struggling so I had a job to do."
Kenny-Dowall waited until after the match to take painkillers as he spoke to reporters through the side of his mouth.
The Kiwi flyer's World Cup hopes might be in tatters, but he was there to score the vital try for the Roosters in the 60th minute.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said at halftime he looked at Kenny-Dowall and knew something was amiss, but didn't want to ask him about it, afraid of the worst.
Captain Anthony Minichiello said he had no idea of what Kenny-Dowall had gone through during the match.
"We all knew he was tough, but that's the first I've heard of that," he said.
It wasn't the only courageous effort for the Roosters.
Luke O'Donnell only just scraped through a fitness test to play and, after re-energising the Roosters in the first half, he was then forced off with a recurrence of his hamstring tear.
Meanwhile, lock Boyd Cordner made a triumphant return from a broken foot after just eight weeks out. The injury is meant to have a 12-week recovery time.