It was the spark that lit the fuse for a 10-minute period of spitefulness between the Broncos and Rabbitohs on Friday night but South Sydney coach Michael Maguire has questioned whether it was even worthy of a penalty.
Rabbitohs lock Sam Burgess flopped aggressively on a prone Joe Ofahengaue after a turnover of possession on halfway six minutes into the second half, prompting Broncos teammates James Roberts and Ben Hunt to rush to his defence.
Players from both teams then engaged in some vigorous pushing and shoving but Maguire was left bemused post-game at the penalty that was awarded against his team.
"Very interesting that one where Sammy got penalised," Maguire said.
"It's no excuse around the loss here but we are playing rugby league. I hope people realise that it actually is a tough game.
"When you fall down on a player and you get penalised for that, I'm not quite sure where the rules are going in the game."
Told by a journalist that Burgess had been penalised for "unnecessary contact" for the second time in the space of a few minutes, Maguire hit back.
"Is it rugby league? There'd be a lot of old-time players looking at that thinking, Where is the game going?" he said.
"We have a tough game and when you fall down on a player, it was a surrender, he just fell down on top of him.
"Then all of a sudden you have people running in and there's a penalty. I'm not quite sure how they come up with that one."
The short-lived fire and brimstone served South Sydney well as they fought back from a 14-0 half-time deficit to get within striking distance at 14-8 heading into the final quarter of the game but the Broncos held their composure and posted three further tries of their own for a comfortable 30-8 victory in front of more than 40,000 fans.
On top of the 22-point loss the Rabbitohs left Suncorp Stadium with injury concerns for Adam Reynolds (jaw) and Hymel Hunt (pectoral) but Maguire praised their fighting character given their poor completion rate of 64 per cent and Brisbane's 58 per cent of possession.
"To see the team come together in that second half and really have a crack at it against a team that's been defending very well I thought our boys showed some real strength," Maguire said.
"We obviously made it tough for ourselves in the first half with our completion rate but I see the courage and the fight in the team pretty well every day.
"They were able to capitalise on periods in that second half where we showed some real strength and desire about the things that we are as a team."
"It was unfortunate at the back-end of halves we gave away a couple of cheap tries but the boys were well and truly in that game and they gave themselves an opportunity."