Reagan Campbell-Gillard holds no grudges towards Canterbury forward David Klemmer after the fiery finish to Friday night's game with frustrations spilling over between the two sides in the final 10 minutes.
With the pair possibly lining up for NSW in a month, Campbell-Gillard played down the battle between Klemmer and Origin incumbents Aaron Woods and Josh Jackson in forward pack battle but admitted there was an added motivation to lift.
The 24-year-old and former NSW representatives Trent Merrin and James Tamou are desperate to represent the Blues in Origin I under a new-look side expected to be chosen under Blues coach Brad Fittler – who was watching on the sidelines for commentary with Channel Nine.
"It's rugby league, obviously they're going to be very bitter and angry towards the game," Campbell-Gillard said.
"That's the type of players they are – they're competitors and don't like losing. The last 10 minutes was fiery, that's rugby league – a bit of fun, push and shove bringing in the crowd, firing up everyone which is good.
"You've got to challenge yourself up against the best. We probably had to keep a little message for myself and front-rowers this week that we had to go meet the challenge. We knew we could get them in the end."
Jackson was particularly upset in the post-game press conference, indicating Merrin had issued Klemmer with a "slap or punch to the head" with no penalty given, but Panthers and NSW playmaker James Maloney was confident all players would see eye-to-eye and rally together despite hostilities.
"They'll be fine, boys are boys and will dust it off," Maloney said.
"They'll probably go and have a beer together, I don't think there will be too much in it.
"They both play hard footy and are both very competitive."
Campbell-Gillard has been pencilled in by the experts to add to his representative honours with a Blues appearance in Origin I.
After playing for Australia alongside Klemmer and Woods, the Windsor junior believes he has learned enough off the pair to take his game to the next level.
"They've been there and done that in the big arenas," Campbell-Gillard said.
"I learnt a lot off everyone, having been in a camp like that I think they just let you play your own football and everyone around you is a world class player and there for a reason.
"You just feed off energy when you stand by side with players like that and play your own games with what works."
Match Highlights: Panthers v Bulldogs - Round 8, 2018