Rus­sell crowing about Rab­bitohs

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - LEAGUE -

MOVIE star and South Syd­ney co-owner Rus­sell Crowe has kick-started the mind games ahead of next week­end’s block­bust­ing pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal by declar­ing Syd­ney Roost­ers as the NRL’s ‘bench­mark club’.

The Rab­bitohs and Roost­ers – two foun­da­tion clubs – will con­test what will be a fierce and fa­mous pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal at a 45,000 sold-out Al­lianz Sta­dium this Satur­day evening.

Souths and the Roost­ers will en­gage in an on­field war af­ter a week of hype, fan­fare and head­lines.

The Rab­bitohs pro­gressed to the grand fi­nal qual­i­fier through a pul­sat­ing 13-12 win over St Ge­orge Illawarra on Satur­day night which in­cluded three late field goals to Souths half­back Adam Reynolds.

Crowe – who owns

Souths with James Packer

– out­lined ex­actly why he be­lieves the Rab­bitohs will start the match as firm un­der­dogs.

A tra­di­tion­al­ist, Crowe (pic­tured) still refers to the Syd­ney Roost­ers as their foun­da­tion name, East­ern Sub­urbs.

“Easts have an in­cred­i­ble ros­ter of su­per­stars, they are the mi­nor pre­miers and the bench­mark club. It’s a mas­sive chal­lenge,” Crowe said.

“The at­mos­phere will be charged.

“It’s an East­ern Sub­urbs home game but as the sta­dium sits in South Syd­ney ter­ri­tory, it’s vir­tu­ally a home game for us too.”

The match will be an ex­cit­ing farewell to Al­lianz Sta­dium, which will be de­mol­ished early next sea­son. This will be the fi­nal sport­ing event held at the well-known Moore Park venue.

Greg Inglis was charged with a grade one dan­ger­ous con­tact for crusher tackle on Tim Lafai, but will be free to play with an early guilty plea.

– Dean Ritchie

Photo: Getty

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