Six weeks on the sidelines did little to temper Jared Waerea-Hargreaves' aggression, but the Sydney Roosters enforcer admits to now second-guessing his actions on the field.
Waerea-Hargreaves returned from a five-match ban for a head-high tackle to destroy Manly on Monday night, the Kiwi international stat line of 172 metres, 21 hit-ups and 58 minutes all season-highs.
He claimed he owed a debt of gratitude to the teammates he left short-handed while out suspended, hence the power-packed performance against the Sea Eagles.
With intimidation and aggression such a prevalent factor in his game, Waerea-Hargreaves knows he needs to maintain the rage on the field, but he says the risk of another ban remains in the back of his mind.
"Sometimes when I'm thinking this is the time to spark it up a bit, you've got to pull it back a bit and think twice about what's best for the team," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"That's what I've had to try and deal with from a young age.
"Starting out you go out there and everything's a blur.
"I think it does come with experience, but controlling it (the aggression) and using it wisely and effectively, that's probably the biggest part of my game that I've had to control."
That control went out the window when Waerea-Hargreaves hit Manly prop George Rose with a high shot in round nine.
The pair came together on several occasions on Monday night, but there wasn't even the semblance of trouble between the rival front-rowers.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson said he had been tempted to stick with starting props Luke O'Donnell and Sam Moa for the game against Manly after they had performed well during Waerea-Hargreaves' absence.
But the rookie coach also knew the best way to get the most out of his pack's emotional leader was to let him go from the opening whistle.
"I definitely felt I had to repay the boys," Waerea-Hargreaves said.
"Hopefully I did that."