Nate Myles and NSW skipper Paul Gallen were involved in the biggest flashpoint of State of Origin 1 last night, when Gallen belted the Queensland second-rower with a series of unprovoked punches.
Gallen was slugged with a grade-two striking charge after the game and will sit out one NRL match after submitting an early guilty plea today.
The Australian media reacted strongly to the 'thuggery' on display last night. Below are some highlights.
The stark fact that a flurry of punches from Gallen aimed at Nate Myles' head was hailed as "a great Origin moment" by Laurie Daley sums up the bloodlust the series continues to generate.
It's less blood, if no less lust, than at any time in the past 33 years, and that will continue to be the trend as those who were part of its brutal past retire from being referees, and from being referees' bosses.
That neither coach even bothered to contact the current match officials' boss, Daniel Anderson, before last night's game indicates they are not going to protest about this steady gentrification of Origin, which will eventually bring it completely into line with club football.
-Steve Mascord, The Sydney Morning Herald
But there are, we are told, a different set of rules for Origin. Presumably written in blood.
Rules that, for three nights per year, allow players to unleash their inner cavemen. To play Old Testament sport. An eye for an eye. Or, in this case, a couple of punches in the head for an illegal tackle and some headbutts.
And this is where it gets confusing. Where you find yourself succumbing to those amateur anthropologists. Where you start - against every civilised sinew in your body - falling for the Origin myth.
"After all," the little Tommy Raudonikis on your shoulder tells you, "wasn't Gallen merely doing what we wanted? Didn't he do with his fists what we had been doing for days with our mouths? Doesn't the very real menace of Origin justify the hype surrounding Australia's most fearsome sporting contest? Wouldn't taking the biff out of Origin be like replacing the swords in Game of Thrones with pillows?"
Yep, that's just Origin, mate. Where the Blues' victory was celebrated in the sheds with cold stubbies, not energy drinks. The tops twisted off in the teeth of assistant coach Trent Barrett.
-Richard Hinds , The Sydney Morning Herald.
Paul Gallen has never had much time for the way Nate Myles plays the game.
It's why he let go with a swinging arm and two massive punches on the Queenslander shortly before half-time.
Gallen has been waiting for the opportunity for a couple of years. He's no angel himself but thinks Myles is a dirty player. He's spoken of his anger among his NSW teammates for years.
During the off-season, Gallen stepped into the boxing ring and showed remarkable skill.
It would be a promoter's dream to put him into the ring opposite Sonny Bill Williams.
Phil Rothfield, The Daily Telegraph.