MARIO Fenech, the Maltese Falcon, took many a hit in his time on the football field, but to him it's not how hard you hit, but how much courage you have to play the game.
New South Wales Blues and Rabbitohs legend Fenech, who was in Rockhampton yesterday to launch the Centenary of Rugby League at Harvey Norman, spoke highly of Central Queensland's football legends and revealed his top five all-time hard hitters of the game.
"My idea of a hard hitter is someone who doesn't speak tough," Fenech said.
"People who have courage on the field.
"Players like Les Davidson and Dean Pay.
"Even Geoff Toovey. They're not always the big players who stand out.
"Jason Taylor he had a lot of courage.
"David Gillespie he hit me round the ribs once and geez I felt it."
The issue of hard-hitting league and brawls on the football field came to the fore again this week after the Melbourne Storm and St George game on Monday night.
The game was overwhelmed by brawls and melees and numerous players were sent off the field.
Fenech said the referee paid the price for a game that went out of control.
"We need more good refs in the game," he said.
"I don't want to bag the ref, but he made some poor decisions and he's paid the price.
"Maybe other refs will learn from that."
But does Mario still feel there is a place for "biff"?
"The toughness of league separates us from union and AFL," he said.
"But really (brawls) don't happen all that often.
"It's a game of passion you're not out there for a haircut, you're there to win," he said.