Pre-game messages from Crowe to inspire Rabbitohs
"You can lose all year as long as we win these games."
Tom Burgess and his teammates hear it all year long from the cardinal and myrtle faithful, and the most influential of them all is no different.
Burgess expects South Sydney owner Russell Crowe to be in his ear with a passage or two from the famed Book of Feuds this week, gearing up once more for the latest edition of the fierce rivalry with the Roosters.
"Because we are from overseas he (Crowe) probably does make that extra effort to make sure we do know what's at stake," Burgess said.
"He's really passionate, which is great. I'm sure Russell will be sending a text out this week. Reminding the boys what it means to the public and the fans.
"We know that and the boys who have grown up here it is built in them.
"Coming from overseas, you get introduced to it and it is a great rivalry. We had Leeds-Bradford back in England and it was a similar sort of vibe."
Even without the Gladiator in his ear, Burgess has more than enough Rabbitohs fans in his face ahead of any Roosters showdown.
Not since 2013, his first taste of the clash when the minor premiership was on the line, and a year later when they squared off in the 2014 preliminary final, have the stakes been as high.
The Tricolours are the bookmakers favourites for this year's title, the Rabbitohs just behind them in the market despite sitting two points ahead on the ladder.
And with a 3-6 personal record against South Sydney's oldest rivals, Burgess is happy to tap into the club's fan base when it comes to locking horns with a Roosters pack boasting Dylan Napa, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Boyd Cordner.
"Hate's a strong word but once you're on the field you've got to have that feuding," he said.
"It's a tough game and once the 80 minutes is over you shake hands.
"From the public, they make a big impact on us. You're around them all the time, we live in the East, in the South of Sydney so we get to see a lot of the fans.
"They make a lot of noise and a lot of the fans will say 'you can lose all year as long as we win these games'.
"It's always a big game....even if we were both on the bottom of the table, it would still be a big crowd.
"Coogee Bay Road will split down the middle as the border from the East to the South. We'll be having coffees on opposite sides of the road this week."