Crowe takes aim at Broncos board
This could be the REAL grudge match on Thursday night.
South Sydney co-owner Russell Crowe has laid the blame for the "trauma" of Anthony Seibold's departure from Redfern solely at the feet of the bosses at the Brisbane Broncos.
While Crowe believes the Rabbitohs-Broncos clash is shaping up as a "beauty", the Hollywood star suggested members from both sets of coaching staff should be pitted against Brisbane officials for their handling of the sacking of Wayne Bennett and the prolonged signing of Seibold.
His comments will add yet more spice to the much-anticipated match at ANZ Stadium.
Speaking from New York, Crowe said: "Anthony Seibold didn't lose any friendships at South Sydney. Our players, admin and board have a great deal of respect for him.
"I regard him very highly and respect his abilities hugely.
"I know he went through a deal of trauma through part of this situation, but none of that was caused by South Sydney.
"The real grudge match would be both coaching staffs against the Brisbane admin and board.
"That would be a beauty."
Crowe described luring the experienced Bennett to Redfern as a major coup for the club, who have won six from seven games to start 2019 and sit equal first alongside Melbourne and the Sydney Roosters.
"Wayne Bennett has fitted in beautifully to South Sydney," Crowe said. "He knows our club is all about football and that suits him fine.
"He brings bloodlines, man-management skills and his rugby league knowledge is second to none.
"We are privileged to have him at South Sydney."
The Bennett-Seibold duel has sucked up a considerable amount of hype leading into the big game.
So much so that Souths and former NSW halfback Adam Reynolds hopes the coaching headline grab won't overshadow Thursday night's tribute to retired star Greg Inglis.
Inglis will be presented to the 20,000-strong crowd - to recognise his great career - before the big match. Souths members can even sign a Thank You card to Inglis.
"It (Bennett-Seibold) is overshadowing it which is disappointing because of what GI has done for us in this game," Reynolds said. "He certainly provided highlights for the generations to come and to inspire them.
"Obviously it has taken a bit away from him and I believe he should get all the acknowledgment he gets. Certainly this coach thing is dominating. We don't care about the coaching situation.
"It would be great to go out there and get a win for GI on the night that is celebrating his career."
Playing the grudge match on a Thursday night - a terrible timeslot for fans - will no doubt damage the chances of pulling a big crowd. Officials believe a crowd of 30,000 would have attended the match had it been played on Sunday afternoon.