NSW firebrand David Klemmer and retiring Queensland veteran Corey Parker have buried the hatchet despite their simmering feud nearly boiling over in the dying moments of State of Origin III.
The pair, who have a history of angst, sought each other out after the fulltime whistle of the Blues’ last-gasp win at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.
Just minutes earlier, the pair nearly came to blows following Michael Jennings’ match-winning try.
After NSW playmaker James Maloney shoved Parker, Klemmer charged in to defend his teammate and got in the face of the Maroons backrower in his 19th and final Origin.
However both denied there was bad blood, professing their admiration for each other.
“Nah mate, it was just competitiveness,” Klemmer said.
“It was his last game as well and he wanted to win.
“I said to him after the game that he was a great competitor and we had some words. I said he’s had a fantastic career and I wish him all the best in the future.
“Not many people can play 300-plus games and however many Origins he’s played.
“All respect to him. He’s done what he’s done in the game.”
Veteran lock Parker denied that there was even a feud with Klemmer.
“Klem didn’t come at me. Jimmy (Maloney) made a bee-line for me and let me know they had won the game – that’s all that was,” Parker said of the post-Jennings try incident.
“I had a real good chat to Klem after the game.
“Klem is going to be an Origin player for the next decade I believe.”
The pair infamously nearly came to blows during last year’s series when Parker demanded that the Blues young bull “show some respect.”
To which Klemmer responded with a string of expletives.
“After the game I said I probably won’t do half the stuff he’s done,” Klemmer said.
“It’s a lot of credit to him. He’s won a couple of series now with Queensland and I wish I could emulate some of the stuff he’s done.”