It was the most poetically perfect way for Adam Blair to finish his 300th NRL game.
With his team desperately clinging to a four-point lead and the Titans attacking from close range with 50 seconds left to play, Blair shot out of the line and put a bone-rattling shot into the ribs of Tyrone Roberts a split second later than what was considered acceptable.
Blair was sin-binned and watched his team hold on from the sideline for a 24-20 victory - their fifth of the season, while Roberts was still walking gingerly as he departed Cbus Super Stadium an hour later lamenting the hit he never saw coming.
Countless teammates have discovered over the years that it is better to play with Blair than against him, a willingness to push the boundaries of what is considered fair play endearing him to fans at the same time as earning the ire of referees and judiciary panels.
Blair was just 16 when he arrived at the Melbourne Storm in search of an opportunity.
Blair sin-binned for tackle on Roberts
He made an immediate impression on Storm strength and conditioning coach Alex Corvo who has worked with Blair at not only Melbourne but in stints at the Broncos and now the Warriors.
"He came over when he was 16 into a pretty tough system at Melbourne,” Corvo told NRL.com.
“He did our Army camp his first year and got through as a 16-year-old so we knew we had something to hold him in good stead for a long career.
"There were times in his early days at Melbourne where he did get a few warnings with regards to his professionalism which is not unusual for a boy of his age.
"But he bought into what the Storm culture was and became a bit of a leader amongst the Maori and the Polynesian boys in his time at Melbourne.”
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In reaching the 300-game milestone Blair became only the third Kiwi player to do so, joining Ruben Wiki and Simon Mannering.
Looking to bounce back after a disappointing second half against the Storm less than a week earlier, Warriors coach Stephen Kearney wasn’t surprised to see Adam Blair doing Adam Blair things right up until the final minute.
"He lives on the edge, we all know that,” Kearney said.
"Even right to the end he's trying to make it happen for the team and put pressure on the halves.
"There were a couple of lovely messages earlier this week by Sam Thaiday and Billy Slater and Cameron Smith and the overwhelming point was that he was a player that they loved playing with but didn't enjoy playing against because of that competitiveness and how he goes abut his business.
"That's what makes Adam Adam.”
Speaking ahead of his milestone game during the week, Blair conceded that approaching his 300th game became something of a distraction.
A distraction so telling that he was sent down to Canterbury Cup for a week.
"He's had a tough old month to be honest,” Kearney said.
“He played at Penrith Park a couple of weeks ago for the Canterbury Cup team at 1 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon.
"He's had a bit of a challenge over the last month but true to Blairy and how he goes about his business he put his head down and got on with what we wanted from him.
"The one thing about Adam is that he prepares himself extremely well every week and that's what's got him into the position that he's got himself too, to knock over 300 games in his position.”