You just knew it would be the Canberra Raiders as soon as the NRL announced a crackdown.
But Raiders coach Ricky Stuart vowed to fight any charges young gun Nick Cotric faces after he was sent off for a tackle that went wrong.
Cotric bore the brunt of the NRL's crackdown and Stuart felt sorry for the referees having to deal with the "hype" that's surrounding send offs.
But losing Cotric only jolted the Green Machine into life and you would've thought St George Illawarra had 12-men, with the Raiders coasting to a 36-14 victory at Wollongong on Sunday.
In a mixed return from an ankle injury, Cotric scored the opening try and became the first player sent off this season after his tackle put Dragons centre Tim Lafai into a dangerous position.
The last player sent off was Melbourne centre Curtis Scott in May last year, with Cotric the first marched for a dangerous tackle since 1995.
Luckily it didn't matter, with the Raiders scoring two short-handed tries despite being a man down for the final 21 minutes.
Stuart was understandably proud of his team's effort, heaping praise on halfback Aidan Sezer and co-captain Josh Hodgson.
But the big news was Cotric, coming after the Raiders felt aggrieved Parramatta prop Peni Terepo stayed on the field despite breaking Jordan Rapana's nose with a high shot two weeks ago.
Stuart defended Cotric, saying there was no malice and it wasn't a spear tackle.
The Raiders coach was unhappy Dragons winger Mikaele Ravalawa played out the game after collecting Jarrod Croker high when the Raiders co-captain had the tryline begging.
Ravalawa was put on report.
"That was not an intentional spear tackle. Whoever thinks it's a spear tackle does not know rugby league," Stuart said.
"It was unintentional, it got away on him a little bit and I understand that, and that's an accident.
"Nick's got no malice in him at all and it ended up in him being on the wrong end of it in regards to being sent off."
Hodgson and Raiders fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, who was brilliant again and scored a double, both crossed for 12-man tries to ice the win after a brief Dragons fightback.
The Green Machine had shot out to a 26-0 lead in a dominant first half.
They've moved to third on the NRL ladder, jumping the Sydney Roosters.
Croker scored his 121st NRL try to become the all-time leading Raiders try scorer.
The Dragons lost Jeremy Latimore with a knee injury and he's expected to miss next week, while Hodgson (foot) finished the night on the bench - but Stuart thought he'd be OK.
The Raiders take momentum into their Wests Tigers clash at Canberra Stadium on Saturday, where they'll celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1989 premiership.
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA RAIDERS 36 (Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2, Nick Cotric, Jarrod Croker, Joe Tapine, Bailey Simonsson, Josh Hodgson tries; Croker 4 goals) bt ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA 14 (Korbin Sims, Luciano Leilua, Matt Dufty tries; Tim Lafai goal) at Wollongong. Referees: Ashley Klein, Todd Smith. Crowd: 9159.