At least Queensland back-rower Corey Parker could see the funny side of Brent Tate's role in the controversial four-man sin-binning that marred the Maroons' 26-6 State of Origin game two win over NSW at Suncorp Stadium.
"Tatey got binned for headbutting a fist," he smiled.
But there were few others laughing in the Queensland camp after the NRL's new hardline stance on fighting resulted in the farcical binning of Tate for being punched in the head by NSW forward Trent Merrin.
The Maroons called for the NRL to reconsider their "one punch and you're off" edict after the crunch Origin II clash was reduced to 11-a-side "touch football" following the second-half binning of Tate and Justin Hodges as well as NSW duo Merrin and Greg Bird.
In the 54th minute, Merrin took exception to Tate pushing NSW skipper Paul Gallen off Johnathan Thurston in a tackle and struck the Queensland winger in the face, prompting a melee.
When the dust settled, Tate was one of four players marched - much to his shock.
"I am still not sure what I got sent off for," Tate said.
"If we are sending people off for that, there won't be too many players left on the field.
"But at the end of the day, we have to worry about the image of the game and the message we are sending to the young kids."
Tate said he did not see Merrin's punch coming.
"I was going to get the ball out of dummy-half," he said.
"I was as surprised as anyone when I wore one.
"But it's an Origin match. Those things happen, they boil over.
"I am glad Hodgo had my back."
Maroons prop Matt Scott said Tate's binning was "a bit harsh".
"He was looking down at the ruck (when hit)," he said.
"People push people off tackles in the play-the-ball all the time. There was no reason to throw a punch.
"But there were two passionate teams and that stuff is bound to happen."
Queensland coach Mal Meninga said it was "fair enough" sin-binning a player for punching but hoped what happened to Tate prompted a re-think of the NRL strict new fighting rules.
"What happened was not conducive to four players being sent to the sin bin," he said.
"Then you have a ridiculous scenario of 11 on 11 playing Origin footy when it is so quick.
"We need to look at it again and come up with some reasonable outcomes.
"Both sides have put in a tremendous effort and the headlines are going to be about what happened with four blokes."
Queensland skipper Cameron Smith said an Origin game being reduced to 11 on 11 was not what the fans wanted to see.
"No doubt about that," he said.
"You heard their response when four players got sin binned.
"And you can't play a proper game of footy when it's 11 on 11. It's like touch footy.
"I know there has been a reaction from game one. Maybe we need to sit back and take a deep breath and look at how we can manage it a bit better."