Blake Clout came up with a quirky last-minute way to protect his injured shoulder against St Albert's College on Saturday: pad it with a cut up bar mat fetched from a bin.
Just prior to the match, Tamworth's third-grade prop, Nic Bradbery, was sent on an errand to find a bar mat from the Rugby Park clubhouse.
After Bradbery fetched the mat from a bin and it was cleaned, the eight pieces the mat was cut into were strapped to Clout's shoulder - injured in the Magpies' opening round win over Barbarians. He said "it was too late to decide to wear" shoulder pads.
"I was gonna use cardboard from a carton of beer but I couldn't find one, so I thought I'd give that [the bar mat] a crack," he said.
The unusual protection method "went okay", he said, in a match in which he did what he does best: run hard and score tries.
The No.13's two five-pointers included an intercept that turned a dangerous Albies offensive play into what was effectively a match-sealing try for the home side.
While Clout's main focus before the clash was probably pain mitigation, he may have also been thinking about dispensing pain.
Tamworth coach Peter Burke wants his key weapon to use more offensive guile, but the 23-year-old plumber likes to run through defenders.
"I don't mind trucking it up, I suppose," he said. "Burkey keeps telling me to try and hit holes [but] sometimes it's a bit hard [to do that] ... I don't think we're [Tamworth] very scared of taking a hit."
Clout said a physiotherapist had not inspected his shoulder, with him happy to "wing it" at this stage regarding the injury.
Tamworth, undefeated after two rounds, play the Blues in Armidale on Saturday.
Tamworth's first win last year, in their New England debut season, came in round seven.
After the Albies clash, Magpies skipper Jim Bracken said the side was now more confident.