‘You let me down you weak so and so’
Andrew Johns has revealed the late great Tommy Raudonikis' reaction to his infamous 'cattle dog' fight with Maroons hooker Jamie Goddard during the 1997 Origin series.
Raudonikis who sadly passed away last week was the mastermind behind the cattledog call, which was essentially code to start an all-in brawl on the field.
Speaking on SEN 1170 Morning Glory, Johns revealed Raudonikis was less than impressed with his fighting ability after he was knocked out cold by his opposite number.
Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand with No Ad-Breaks During Play. New to Kayo? > Get your 14-day free trial now & start streaming instantly >
"It was arranged during the week that the first guy to yell out, 'Queenslander!', Tommy said he wants someone to yell out, 'Cattledog!', which is the (code for) all-in brawl," Johns explained on SEN.
"Anyway, we all say, 'Yeah, yeah', and we forgot about it.
"Then there was a scrum right on halfway, near the bench at the old Sydney Football Stadium.
"As we were packing the scrum, we could hear Tommy yelling out, 'Cattledog! Cattledog! Cattledog!'.
"So, at that time I was playing hooker and I was packing into the scrum and Steve Menzies was the back-rower and he was yelling, 'No cattledog!'.
MORE NRL NEWS
'ALLOWED TO CHANGE MY MIND?': Kevvie lifts lid on Hunt after Broncos loss
'QUITE DEVASTATING': Emotional Morris breaks silence on Sharks sacking
"But then Spud's (Mark Carroll) eyes start to roll and Chief's (Paul Harragon's) eyes start to roll so Spud goes and packs in with a loose arm.
"Spud goes boom and hits Craig Smith and knocks him out.
"Then I grab (Jamie) Goddard and whack him, I'm pretty sure there wasn't the right camera angles, but I won the first round, I got about three good hits on him.
"But the next round, I think he got me, he got a few good ones on me.
"When they started to pull us apart he started to sledge me, so I said, 'Alright let's go', and that's when I walked around the referee and that's when he landed it on me, knocked me out cold.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!!
"I see the replays now, I'm getting cautioned by the referee and Adrian Lamb's the Queensland captain and he's looking at me and my lip was split right from my lip up to my nose."
Johns' fight with Goddard has been replayed countless times in the years since during the annual Origin series with fans and teammates never missing an opportunity to stick it into the Blues legend.
While the details of the actual fight remain a little hazy to him, Johns can still remember Raudonikis' brutal reaction to his poor showing in the fight.
"So, I go in the sheds and I'm getting stitched up at this stage by Dr. Nathan Gibbs and I say, 'Mate, what happened?', and he goes, 'You've been sin-binned', and I said, 'How did I go?', he said, 'Go have a look at the mirror'," Johns continued.
"Anyway, he stitched me up and I think he put 20 stitches in and then seven on the inside.
"So, I get my phone and I ring (Matty) and I said, 'Are you watching the game?', and he's hysterically laughing and I said, 'Oh, people will forget', but he replied, 'You'll never live this down'.
"Then I pass out, I'm knocked cold, and this is before concussion protocols, 25 years ago.
"I'm laying on the bench and I fall asleep and next thing I have this smell of garlic, stale beer and Winnie Reds.
"I wake up and Tommy is (that close) to my face and he says, 'You let me down you weak so and so, get back out there!'.
"He comes over with a big thing of Vaseline and said, 'Put it on your mouth and get out there, you let me down!'.
"So, I ran back on the field and I couldn't put my mouthguard on because my lip was so swollen.
"I'm at home now with the kids and I watch that, and it still sends a shiver down my spine."
Originally published as 'You let me down you weak so and so': Joey reveals Tommy's brutal reaction to 'cattledog' KO