Say what you want about National Party leader Simon Bridges, nobody could call him a coward.
Confronted with reports he would face a no-confidence vote without any open confirmation by those behind any challenge, Bridges announced they were mounting a challenge for them.
He did not name Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye. He did not need to.
It was blatantly obvious – or soon became so when both other potential contenders, Mark Mitchell and Judith Collins, ruled themselves out.
Bridges was adapting the Covid-19 strategy to his own leadership virus: go hard, and go early. Stamp it out. The goal was also the same: elimination.
He was flushing them out, ready or not.
And ready they were not.
It is not a risk-free manoeuvre. It is a gutsy one though.
It was also necessary.
It brings the issue to a head rather than dragging the caucus through at least of week of whispers behind hands and media coverage of the internal strife within the National Party.
It will force Muller and Kaye to state their intentions one way or the other. They either challenge, or scuttle off with their tails between their legs.
It effectively dispenses with the need for a confidence vote: either Muller and Bridges go to the vote or Bridges has stared them down and triumphed without a show of hands.
The longer it goes on, the more divided a caucus becomes and the more the public see a party tangled up in its own intestines instead of focusing on the people they are supposed to represent.
That was recognised by Judith Collins, who has said she did not believe a no-confidence vote against Bridges would succeed.
Collins was quick to rule out contesting the leadership herself, at least for now.
She has put that down to her awareness that blood on the caucus room floor before an election inevitably leads to a haemorrhage at the ballot box.
Had Bridges gone willingly, it could be another matter.
The significance of Collins' position should not be underestimated.
Many of the National Party members who dislike Bridges are Collins' supporters.
What she says will matter to them – and it could well help subdue the dissent against him, at least for the time being.
Bridges' move has successfully but perhaps unfairly cast Muller and Kaye as the "villains" for their plotting.
That is unfair because this was not necessarily the timing Muller would have wanted – his hand was forced by the polls and growing concern among MPs.
Muller himself was conscious of the potential backlash to a messy leadership change. He had clearly hoped to assess whether there was indeed enough appetite for a leadership change before he put up his hand.
The ideal would have been for a clean handover, similar to that between John Key and Bill English.
The trouble with that is that Bridges has made it clear he has no intention of handing the position over to someone else on a platter. Nor would other contenders necessarily simply let Muller take it if Bridges were to stand down.
Having held National up in the 40s until Covid-19 came along, Bridges rightly thinks that any leader of the Opposition would have struggled against the Prime Minister through that period.
A 1 News Colmar Brunton poll is due to run this week and may prove to be the decider.
However the dance ends this week, the key priority is that it does end.
National has been on the back foot throughout the Covid-19 crisis. But as things turn to the economic hit and recovery, there is potential to make up that lost ground.
But that will not happen if the party is struggling with a leadership showdown.
It could be the making of Bridges. If his brinksmanship works he will have firmly stamped his authority on his leadership.
Or it could be the breaking of him.
What we do know is Bridges will not go quietly.