It was the media's fault. They brought the biff back to State of Origin.
Queensland coach Wayne Bennett blamed reports about the history between Maroons lock Tino Faasuamaleaui and NSW enforcer Payne Haas for the stink that erupted between the pair.
Like young bulls getting egged on, Bennett felt the resurrection of an incident between the two when they were playing under-18s Origin three years ago.
It ended with them trading blows on Sydney Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night followed by 10 minutes in the sin bin for them both.
Haas threw two punches first before Faasuamaleaui responded with one of his own before they were sent to the sheds to cool off.
The incident halted Queensland's momentum in the second, having just earned an attacking penalty - albeit when they were well behind on the scoreboard.
Just like when the pair went after each other three years ago in the under-18s.
Bennett felt both players would've seen the reports and it fuelled the fire before Origin II even begun.
Both played well for their respective sides, although Haas was arguably the best forward on the park with 159 run metres.
"I've worked with you [media] guys for a long time now so I know you'll take no responsibility for it," Bennett said when asked about the blue.
"That was a headline in Brisbane today ... about [them] going for each other.
"They're young men. They're 20 years of age the both of them and headlines like that just throws fuel onto the fire.
"I knew deep down today that there was probably going to be a blue between the pair of them.
"You won't take responsibility for it, but if that's not a headline today I don't believe that happens tonight. Simple as that."
Pressed on it, Bennett doubled down - while also admitting the players needed to take responsibility for their actions.
"They both would've read the paper today and it stirs the emotion in them," he said.
"That's my point. They've got to be responsible for their actions. I accept that as well, but you're talking about 20-year-olds here.
"You're talking about headlines that happened [three years ago] and the dislike for each other.
"It didn't come out of nowhere tonight, it was already brewing from this morning."
Blues coach Brad Fittler wasn't buying into Bennett's story and just felt everyone should move on from it.
"I don't think anyone got hurt. I haven't heard much this week," he said.
"Two young blokes, I don't think anyone was hurt and it wasn't too offensive. I think we can move on from it pretty quickly."