Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy joked he poked Storm backrower Felise Kaufusi with a stick to fire him up for their NRL qualifying final.
Whatever he did worked as the gentle giant turned raging bull against South Sydney, with Sam Burgess seemingly waving a red rag.
Kaufusi lined up the Rabbitohs' own enforcer time and again at AAMI Park, knocking the ball from his grasp in some crucial plays in the one-point win.
After the match Bellamy said it was a huge performance from the 26-year-old, more known for his runs on the edge of the ruck, and described it as his best of the season.
Raised in sleepy Bundaberg in a family of 11, Kaufusi admits at times he does need a "poke" to get going.
"It's pretty hard because I'm a pretty relaxed guy and am pretty laid back," said the Maroons and Test backrower.
"But I knew I needed to go out there with an aggressive mindset because that's when I play well."
He said he was aware with giant prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona missing the match through injury, the Storm needed as much physicality as they could muster to get on top of the Burgess brothers-led Rabbitohs.
Brother to former NRL star Antonio and Patrick, who also plays with the Storm, Kaufusi said he tried to soak up the finals fever.
"The build-up in the finals is enough for me - I let the finals footy hype get to me and I was able to be aggressive," he said.
Turning that aggression into effective defence was helped this year by extra sessions with Trevor "The Axe" Gillmeister while in camp with the Maroons.
Known as a tackling machine, Gillmeister worked with Kaufusi and his teammates before Origin III on their tackling technique, wanting them to commit fully, stay on their feet and drive with their shoulder.
Given Queensland's win in that match and the Storm's march into week three of the finals, it has proved effective.
Bellamy said he wanted more of the same from Kaufusi in their preliminary final on Friday week.
"It's certainly the best game he's had this year for us so hopefully he can poke himself with a stick in two weeks time," the coach said.
Australian Associated Press