Few Group 4 players get rivals stirred up like big Lincon Smith.
And the end result of that is often a seismic collision, followed by the 20-year-old prop getting up and remonstrating and shoving his aggressor.
It happened in the first half of Gunnedah's win over Kootingal-Moonbi at Kitchener Park on Sunday, when Kooty's veteran prop Chris Vidler crunched Smith with a vicious front-on tackle.
The spike in testosterone ended with the youngster extending his hand and the seasoned campaigner accepting it - the faces of both players etched with a broad smile.
Smith hitting the ball up has become one of the competition's best sights - and he is one of its most targeted players.
It has happened very quickly for him. He started last season in reserve grade, but ended it as a starting front-rower in the grand final - en route to debuting for the Greater Northern Tigers this year.
"You can hear when you're taking a few hit-ups, they're always on to ya, but that's footy," he said, as the Dogs prepare to meet Dungowan at home on Saturday.
"I love when you get right in the game - it's good, it's real good ... It [clashing with experienced players like Vidler] teaches you a lot.
"Teaches you that they're always there, and if you make one mistake, they're gonna whack you - like he [Vidler] whacked me a fair bit at one stage there [on Sunday]. But, I guess, that's footy too."
Smith is a sponge - absorbing as much knowledge about the game as he can. He wants to ply his weekend trade further afield after finishing his boilermaker apprenticeship this year.
Matt Baker's return to Gunnedah this season is an important development in him achieving that.
Second-rower Baker, the captain against against Kooty, arrived in town after four seasons of first grade with Central in Newcastle, preceded by a stint with the Sydney Roosters' under-20 side.
Baker is a member of the Bulldogs' four-pronged leadership group, which new coach John Hickey has entrusted to drive the team while he primarily focuses on man management.
The other members are Reece Jaeger, Matt Brady and Aaron Donnelly.
Baker, Brady and Donnelly were all strong against Kooty, with Baker man of the match, while Jaeger was sidelined with an ankle injury.
Smith said Baker had taken him "under his wing a fair bit".
"He's teached [sic] me a fair bit ... Just like quick play the balls, getting up off the ground [quicker] a lot more," Smith said.
"He's always there to back you and support you, which is real good. Always messaging you to see how you pulled up after training and see how things were after the game and what we can work on.
"He's real supportive ... He's helped the team a real lot, as you can see from the weekend [against Kooty]."
Like all sponges, Smith wants to get "better and better" and "see if we can go somewhere". And by "we", he means himself.