18/08/2015 11:23 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

Shark Michael Ennis Slaps Cooper Cronk, Breaks Mick Fanning Rule

Mark Kolbe via Getty Images
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 17: Michael Ennis of the Sharks pushes away Cooper Cronk of the Storm as they scuffle during the round 23 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at Remondis Stadium on August 17, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Michael Ennis -- you're doing it all wrong.

The Sharks hooker cemented his status as one of rugby league's great pests and reversed the order of nature by slapping Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk in Monday night's NRL match in Cronulla.

The veteran player got up in the face of Cronk after frustrations boiled over late in the first half of the Sharks' humiliating 30-2 loss -- and his opposite number was far from happy.

You can't do that, can you? (Fox Sports Australia)

It was the last thing the Storm needed after their team bus broke down on the way to the match and they had to call cabs to reach the ground in time.

Ennis clearly failed to heed the lessons of surfing legend Mick Fanning, who famously slapped a shark in the head during an incredible close encounter off the coast of South Africa.

Ennis, 31, is renowned in the NRL for his abrasive playing style and is no stranger to a scuffle with opponents (and referees).

The referees tried to defuse the situation with a bit of school teacher-style advice, urging Ennis and Cronk to engage in "nothing silly".

Let's hug it out. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

But it was too late; Ennis face-palmed the Queensland No. 7, who predictably did not take too kindly to the rough-up.

No love was lost between the players though, who hugged it out with a nice little cuddle.