How NRL’s newest rivalry exploded into existence
STRAP yourselves in for Retro Round, footy fans, because these are the stunning images that threaten to turn ANZ Stadium into a powder keg on Friday night.
It was the explosive post-match confrontation between two of the NRL's most feared enforcers, Russell Packer and David Klemmer, the last time the Wests Tigers and Canterbury played in round 12.
While it might be politically incorrect, given it's Fox Sports' Retro Round this week, you never know your luck about seeing a throwback to the on-field stoushes of Paul "The Chief" Harragon and Mark "Spud" Carroll, or Greg Dowling and Kevin Tamati.
Over the years there's been some ripping battles between some of rugby league's big men.
Now we've got a new rivalry.
One shocked onlooker said that tensions between the two almost boiled over on the field on May 27, to the point where Packer allegedly invited Klemmer to meet up "away from the cameras" so the two could sort out their differences.
Judging from Packer's mood at the time, the feeling was they wouldn't be sitting down to talk it through over a skinny latte.
Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary said on Monday he was not aware of the incident, while Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe admitted he had heard something had happened but had no understanding of what had been said.
But the witness said it happened in front of full view of players from both teams and staff working at the ground.
At one point even Klemmer's best mate Aaron Woods attempted to calm Packer down without much luck.
The look on Woods' face indicated he was bemused by the tension.
Woods was later seen in the Tigers' dressing sheds catching up with his former teammates.
The witness claimed Packer fired up after Klemmer refused to shake hands following the Tigers' 14-10 victory.
From there it escalated as Packer followed Klemmer across the field and appeared to nudge him with his head from the side.
Klemmer kept walking as Packer yelled out "I'm not scared of you" before the Tigers book end offered to catch a cab over and meet up with his opposite.
Given it was the Bulldogs' last game before the NSW team for State of Origin I was announced, perhaps Klemmer was reluctant to take up Packer's offer because he had a pre-existing engagement.
The Blues were due in camp the following day in Coogee.
But given Cleary remained unaware of the incident, it's a safe bet to assume their hostilities might still be simmering and could resume come kick off at 7.50pm on Friday.
Klemmer is the leader of the Bulldogs' pack and one of the most feared men in the NRL.
Packer is equally menacing and obviously, given his previous verbal spray, would back his chances if anything was to come of it.
Packer has done a wonderful job rebuilding his reputation as one of the game's great redemption stories after serving time in jail for a violent assault.
But while he has proven to be a role model off the field and an inspiration to many, at the end of the day his job on a rugby league field is to go as hard as he legally can.
And up until this point he hasn't put a foot wrong since being allowed back in the game.
With the Tigers fighting to break into the NRL top eight after back-to-back wins over ladder leaders St George Illawarra and South Sydney, Packer will again be expected to lead from the front on Friday night.
But the last thing he can afford is to lose his cool like he very nearly did back in round 12.