Maybe South Sydney players would miss Anthony Seibold more if Wayne Bennett wasn't such a good coach.
It's not just their 6-1 start to the season that has players skipping around Redfern Oval. It's the aura that Bennett, with his 800-plus NRL games and seven premierships, has brought to the club.
"Obviously everyone has reasons in why they do things and he’s [Seibold] no different," halfback Adam Reynolds said on Monday.
"We ended up with the greatest coach of all time. So we're happy he’s here.
"He’s coached over 700 games or 800 or however many it is; he’s won so many competitions; he gets success wherever he goes.
"His record speaks for itself. But not only that. It’s the way he operates with people off the field.
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"He lives his life at such a high standard he makes others want to be better themselves."
Inevitably, Thursday's showdown with the Broncos, with former Souths coach Seibold at the helm, is attracting a lot of attention.
"From a fan’s point of view looking in, it’s probably great for the game – a bit of hype and a bit of rivalry between teams," hooker Damien Cook said.
"For us as players it hasn’t bothered us at all. We’re just worried about going out there and doing a good job and hopefully get the win. They’ve got a big forward pack and played really well against Cronulla."
Dane Gagai said there had been no talk among the players of the coach-against-coach banter.
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"I had Seibs in Origin and got along with him well. He's a great bloke and I was sorry to see him go," Gagai said.
"I wished him well. He obviously had his reasons. But in saying that we had Wayne come to the club, who got me from Brisbane when they let me go, down to Newcastle. So I definitely owe a lot to Wayne and we've formed a great relationship.
"I was just as happy that he was coming to the club."
Five-eighth Cody Walker was the sole player admitting he did feel disappointed that Seibold left.
"I can only speak for myself but I was pretty disappointed to see him go because we went so well last year and I thought he was a great coach," Walker said.
"But as players we don’t make those decisions. We just wanted a little clarity as it went on for a little too long in my opinion.
"Seibs was really big on the effort part of the game. So is Wayne. So that hasn't stopped at South Sydney."
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All four players said that no matter the result at ANZ Stadium on Thursday, they would happily shake Seibold's hand and have a chat.
"Definitely. I gave him a little message over Christmas just to wish him and the girls [three daughters] and [wife] Holly a great Christmas and hope they're enjoying Brisbane," Walker said.
Reynolds said he learnt a lot from Seibold but also from other Redfern coaches like Willie Peters and former assistant Dave Furner.
"We had an okay season last year but disappointed in the way we finished obviously," the No.7 said.
"Things fell out towards the back of the year with him leaving and a new coach coming – but that’s all behind us now.
"We’ve moved on and we’re really pleased Wayne is on board with us now.
"He’s been at other clubs before and coaches against old clubs, so he’s used to it all. He hasn’t been any different throughout this week, so it’s business as usual."