Player of the Game Liam Martin has spoken about the on-field melee he had with club team-mate and Kiwis rival James Fisher-Harris during the second half of an intense World Cup semi-final.
The scuffle broke out after an error by Nathan Cleary resulted in some heightened Kiwi celebrations, much to the chagrin of Kangaroos back-rowers, led by Cameron Murray.
Though he didn't start it, the scuffle ended with Martin and Fisher-Harris being pulled apart – although the smiles on their faces seemed contrary to the intensity with which the fight started.
“I love playing against (Fisher-Harris), I look up to him a fair bit at Panthers,” Martin said in the post-game press conference, per Fox Sports.
“Coming up against him I knew it was going to be a real test, so I just wanted to take it to him. He enjoyed that as well, it was good out there.”
Leaving it on the field, Martin wasn't willing to disclose what was said, but it's clear both players could see the funny side of a heated argument between NRL teammates.
“Nothing too serious (was said), we were mostly laughing more than anything,” Martin revealed.
“Obviously I've got my teammates' back but I won't take it too far. I couldn't fight to save myself so I won't be doing anything too serious.”
Martin took the man of the match honours at the end of the contest but still hard a hard time big-noting himself in the aftermath.
Luckily for Martin, coach Mal Meninga was more than happy to do it for him.
“He did (his job) very well,” Meninga said.
“That's why he's in the Test team. He makes a difference, he makes great contributions to our team.
“He's obviously humble, but that's what he provides. I'm really happy with his performance, not only tonight but through the whole tournament.”