When New Zealand Warriors centre Gerard Beale clashed knees with Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, it appeared he had suffered a knee injury.
While initially, it was believed to be a dislocated kneecap — still a serious injury — the true extent is horrifying.
The clash just eight minutes into the game fractured his knee cap, splitting his kneecap in two.
It was a terrible injury for Beale, who has suffered serious leg injuries in the past.
The 11-time New Zealand international representative broke his leg during the 2017 World Cup, an injury that sidelined him for six months.
The bad luck has continued for the 29-year-old NRL veteran with the injury — according to the NRL Physio Twitter page, which is run by physiotherapist Brien Seeney and is based on the information available to him as he is unaffiliated with the NRL — the injury is set to sideline Beale for four to eight months.
The reports from the game are harrowing with the injury clearly shaking the Warriors players.
Warriors assistant coach Stacey Jones detailed the extent of the blow.
"It's a very nasty injury," Jones said. "The boys saw it when it happened and the look on their faces was just as bad. We feel for Bealey at the moment and we hope that he can make a good recovery. I think his kneecap snapped in half … just about popping out of the skin."
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney wasn't able to speak with Beale as he was taken directly to hospital but spoke about the injury post match.
"One part went north and the other part went south," Kearney said. "So it's not a nice injury for him. That injury threw us out a fair bit."
The Warriors were leading 6-0 at the time but lost 42-6 to effectively end their season.
The injury will require Beale to stay in Sydney for the surgery but could actually be a positive.
If Beale had ruptured his patella tendon, it would take in the range of 6-12 months to repair.
The Warriors also lost prop Agnatius Paasi, while hooker Jazz Tevaga battled through an ankle injury.
The Roosters took advantage and ran away with the game in the second half, leaving the Warriors a slim chance of making the finals.
"It was obviously challenging, when you lose an outside back to a pretty serious injury," Kearney added.
"We put together a good performance against Manly, and then obviously, today, we didn't look co-ordinated and had an injury that threw us out a bit.
"Even Jazz had got a twist on his ankle again and he was out there under sufferance.
"It just didn't help anything for us, but we're staying over and our focus is on making sure we get ourselves up for a challenge next week at Shark Park. But we'll have to reassess some things tomorrow."