Crowe claims un­der­dog tag

The Cairns Post - - SPORT - DEAN RITCHIE

MOVIE star and South Syd­ney co-owner Rus­sell Crowe has kick­started 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 on-field 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 still refers to the Syd­ney Roosters by their foun­da­tion name, Eastern Sub­urbs.

“Easts have an in­cred­i­ble ros­ter of su­per­stars, they are the mi­nor pre­miers and the bench­mark club,” Crowe said.

“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.

Pic­ture: GETTY IMAGES

PLAY­ING HIS ROLE: Rab­bitohs owner Rus­sell Crowe, watch­ing his beloved South Syd­ney in ac­tion, has moved to put psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure on the Syd­ney Roosters.

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