Brent Tate has described the tackle that may cost Josh Reynolds his place in the Blues team for Origin II as one of the most frightening moments of his life and called for the NRL to "get serious" about their crackdown on lifting tackles.
Reynolds was placed on report for his tackle on Tate in the 28th minute of New South Wales' courageous 12-8 win in Game One at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night and subsequently charged with a Grade 2 Dangerous Throw by the NRL Match Committee in the immediate aftermath of an enthralling 100th Origin encounter.
The charge brings with it 325 points – or a three-game ban – but Reynolds can have that reduced to 243 points with an early guilty plea. His only chance of playing in Origin II at ANZ Stadium on June 18 is to challenge the grading at the judiciary.
NSW back-rower Beau Scott was also charged by the Match Committee but an early guilty plea to his Grade 1 Dangerous Throw charge will see him available for Newcastle's clash with the Warriors on Sunday.
Speaking in the dressing sheds after the game, Tate looked genuinely shaken up by the incident and has urged the NRL to continue with the clamp down before another player is seriously injured.
"I've never been more frightened in all my life," said Tate, whose career has been threatened by serious neck and knee injuries throughout his 14-year NRL career.
"My legs were shaking for 10 minutes after that so it will be interesting to see what the judiciary has to say because if they're serious about trying to stamp these things out... I don't think I've ever been as scared in a rugby league match as that. I was frightened; it was scary.
"I was legitimately shaken up; I didn't know where I was. At the end of the day we're trying to stamp this type of stuff out of the game. I was put in a position where I had absolutely no control of where I was going.
"We can't have it in our game, it's too dangerous, it's got to stop. The NRL has got to get serious about it and start cracking down on it because we've already had an unfortunate incident (the severe spinal injury to Knights forward Alex McKinnon) and what are we going to do? Are we going to be sitting beside someone else's bed and after the next one we'll crack down on it?"
Maroons forward Corey Parker was near the incident when it happened and although he conceded losing Reynolds would be a big blow to the Blues, said the welfare of his teammate was his primary concern.
"Tatey got twisted and he was pretty rattled when he was on the ground," Parker said. "He's a good mate of mine and my main concern was to make sure he was OK.
"[Reynolds] is obviously an important part of their side and if he's to miss it through suspension then it's going to hinder them but we've got our own backyard to worry about first."
In addition to their metaphorical wounds, the Maroons were left to nurse a number of serious injury concerns that threatens to derail their quest for a ninth straight Series win.
Halfback Cooper Cronk lasted just 10 minutes before leaving the field with a suspected broken left arm, captain Cameron Smith was severely hampered by a right ankle injury throughout much of the second half and Daly Cherry-Evans suffered a hip injury in the final frantic minute that will also require scans.
Shaken but otherwise OK, Tate knows that the task of defeating a NSW team growing in self-belief on their home turf to square the Series in three weeks' time shapes as one of the Maroons' greatest challenges in recent years.
"They were great tonight, they defended really well," said Tate. "Jarryd Hayne at the back was exceptional and carried his club form straight into here and they defended really, really well.
"We had plenty of ball down on their line in the second half and they held us out so they're going to be full of confidence, we're going to have to go down to Sydney and it's a tough place to win."