So hell-bent was Greg Bird on causing destruction on Sunday that NSW captain Paul Gallen felt compelled to warn him about harming his State of Origin chances.
Bird missed last year’s entire Origin series after copping an eight-week ban for a dangerous throw charge stemming from the Anzac Test.
It was his fourth charge for the same offence in the space of a year.
Fearing a repeat stint on the sidelines might have been on the cards, after Bird flattened James Maloney in Gold Coast’s narrow loss to Cronulla on the weekend, Gallen had a word on the run to his Origin `Bruise brother’.
“After that Maloney hit I went up and said: `mate, you’ve just got to be careful’,” Gallen told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.
“He wasn’t happy with me on the field at the time, but after the game he came up to me and apologised and said `I realised you weren’t being smart’.
“He was on a mission, there’s no doubt about that.
“When he gets in that sort of mood he can create some attention for himself that isn’t really warranted.”
Bird was hit with a grade-two careless high tackle charge for the high shot on Maloney – which carries a one-week ban – while he also sailed close to the wind in tackling Ben Barba in mid-air and getting involved in some push and shove with Michael Ennis.
Gallen admitted that on first inspection, he didn’t think the hit on Maloney was that bad.
Bird made his Origin debut for NSW in 2007, however due to a myriad of injuries and suspensions, he has missed 11 possible matches for his state since that time.
“He is a player you want to play alongside in State of Origin,” Gallen said.
“If he is missing again it would be a big loss.”