Ennis on his role in the Raiders-Sharks rivalry
Premiership-winning hooker Michael Ennis said his involvement in the rivalry that exists between the Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders was something most people now laugh about.
The sight of Ennis mimicking the ''Viking Clap'' after his side's preliminary final win in 2016 still rankles with many Raiders supporters.
Ennis told this week's Big League magazine that night had everything.
''We travelled to Canberra and Paul Gallen pulled out before the game with a back injury – then we lost Wade Graham to a Joey Leilua hit in the opening few minutes,'' Ennis recalled.
''The Raiders were flying at 12-0 in front of a vocal crowd. The atmosphere was unreal and was as good as you'll ever play in front of.
''From the moment we came out for warm-up, we had Raiders supporters following me, Jimmy Maloney, Andrew Fifita and Ben Barba hurling friendly abuse towards us.
''As a player, you just love that, because it's the occasion that brings out the best in you. In my opinion that was the game that won us the grand final – it gave us the belief to go on with it.''
Ennis said his version of the Viking Clap only served to increase the animosity.
''The sheer emotion obviously spilled over at the end with my famous 'Viking Clap', which certainly lit the fuse to what was already a healthy rivalry,'' he said.
''When I go to Canberra to commentate these days, the fans still get stuck into me – but it's always in a good way, a bit of fun.
''I've offered to blow the horn for them but I haven't received a phone call back. I've been told it's at the discussion table but that's as far as it's gone. I really enjoy the theatre of the Viking Clap, it adds plenty of atmosphere.
''I never expected my version to blow up as much as it did, but we can all look back and have a bit of a laugh at it now. ''
Looking ahead to this weekend's meeting between the two sides, Ennis said the Sunday afternoon timeslot would help the home side.
''It's going to be a belter of a game this weekend because both sides are in good form. The Raiders have won four of their past five games and the Sharks have claimed three in-a-row,'' he said.
''It's also great that the match is on Sunday afternoon, because the Raiders love to throw the ball around and we can expect some entertaining footy.''