At the time, his coach was so angry he fired off an official complaint.
But North Queensland backrower Ethan Lowe says he has no beef with Melbourne’s wrestling tactics ahead of Sunday’s NRL grand final despite suffering a career-threatening neck scare against the Storm.
A year ago Lowe faced an uncertain future when he underwent spinal surgery after suffering the neck injury in the Cowboys’ 2016 qualifying loss to Melbourne.
North Queensland coach Paul Green was livid at the time, firing off an official complaint over the Storm’s tactics after another two Cowboys also suffered neck issues in the game.
But fast forward 12 months and Lowe said he had no problem with the Storm despite finishing last year’s qualifying final against them with little feeling in his feet and hands.
“Not at all. We have played them twice already this season and I got through it unscathed,” he said.
“I didn’t believe their tackling had anything to do with the injury.
“I put it down to it being football and stuff happens.
“We play a physical sport and sometimes things can go wrong.”
Lowe recovered in the pre-season to play every game for the Cowboys this year and be mentioned for Queensland State of Origin selection.
However, Lowe admitted plenty of doubts flashed through his mind as he began the long road to recovery.
“It was definitely hard having a major injury and a major scare – it plays on your mind a little bit,” said Lowe, who has also taken on Cowboys goal-kicking duties.
“And I think it played on my mind at the start of the season too but I worked my way through it and I am back where I need to be.”
Asked if he was a little wary taking on the the Storm wrestle again, Lowe said: “They’re playing to the whistle and if the refs don’t blow the whistle then it’s play on.
“I leave it to the refs to adjudicate and go from there.”
The lanky backrower’s main concern appears to the huge shiner on his right eye ahead of the grand final.
Not surprisingly, the player who came back from a career threatening neck injury didn’t seem concerned by a black eye.
“The eye is fine. It’s a bruise and a black eye – nothing too bad,” he said.
“I will be fine. I am not too worried.
“It looks a lot worse than it is.”