It was savage, it was reckless and - gallingly for the French - it was so unnecessary.
France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina's sending-off against Wales in the Rugby World Cup on Sunday will go down as one of the most mindless acts of violence in the 32-year history of the competition.
What possessed him to swing his right elbow flush into the face of Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright at a 49th-minute maul is anyone's guess.
It probably cost his team a place in the semi-finals.
Vahaamahina clasped his hands together in a praying gesture and nodded his head toward Jaco Peyper after the South African referee brandished the red card.
It was the first red card in a World Cup knockout game since Wales captain Sam Warburton's for a tip-tackle in the same fixture in the 2011 semifinals.
While that was slightly unfortunate for Warburton, there was no arguing against Vahaamahina's red.
France flanker Wenceslas Lauret says his teammate had apologised in the locker room but will "carry on paying for it."
"Obviously he blames himself," France flyhalf Camille Lopez said.
"He got a red card in a quarter-final and he left us with 14 for part of the match, so of course he blames himself. But the group won't in the slightest."
Vahaamahina’s moment of madness costs France
The French were leading 19-10 in the 49th minute, and playing their best rugby not just of the tournament but maybe this year, when Vahaamahina was sent off.
They went on to lose agonisingly, 20-19 , bringing to an end the international coaching career of Jacques Brunel.
He departs with 13 losses in 23 matches as France coach, and confusion about where exactly his team stands in the world rugby's pecking order.
Les Tricolores remain frustratingly inconsistent. The team struggled to see off Tonga in the pool stage, then played so well against Wales - for about 50 minutes anyway - a few weeks later.
Their first-half performance in the quarter-final was excellent and contained one of the tries of the tournament, an 80-meter move that started with a burst through the line from Virimi Vakatawa outside his own 22 and finished with Charles Ollivon racing over the line between the posts.
Gatland said he was thrilled that his team was only nine points behind at halftime.
"I want to stress the quality of our team, which showed courage ... and lots of panache," Brunel said.
Brunel will be replaced by former France captain Fabien Galthie and said he bequeaths a young team "with all the potential" going into the four-year cycle for the 2023 World Cup, held in France.
"We need time to build up a team that will have results for confidence, and that is probably what we lacked," Brunel said.
"But they will keep on learning and it will make them mature. There is a brighter future for this team."
I disagree completely. He should be cited for that elbow. It was disgusting. His intent was to injure— Craig (@CraigRDJones) October 20, 2019
Laughed at??? He purposely rammed his elbow into Wainwright’s face!!! There’s nothing old school rugby about it, it’s downright dangerous and absolutely disgusting!— Louise_Scarlet 🇹🇷❤️🏴 (@I_bleed_scarlet) October 20, 2019
Minimum six month ban for that elbow. Absolute disgrace— Gareth Dyer (@pikedyer) October 20, 2019
That elbow is a disgrace, I hope it gets dealt with properly.— Jon Jones (@Batraven) October 20, 2019
Specially on the other side of that elbow. What an absolute disgrace... I almost spilled my tea during those last few minutes— Sarouchka Meringue (@Sarouchka) October 20, 2019