Boyd Cordner (centre) of the Roosters reacts after the Round 20 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Boyd Cordner (centre) of the Roosters reacts after the Round 20 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Cordner strikes back at the Gladiator

SOUTHS owner Russell Crowe reckons the Roosters are forever in his club's shadow.

To which Boyd Cordner says what?

"Russell's just bitter," the Tricolours skipper laughs.

Bitter?

"Yeah, bitter there's only one foundation club played every single season since this competition started … and it's us."

Rugby league's greatest rivalry will write another chapter tonight when South Sydney and the Roosters square off at ANZ Stadium.

Apart from fighting for top spot of the NRL ladder, and a potential slice of that $100,000 minor premiership bonus, the arch rivals are also vying for ultimate bragging rights.

Earlier this week, The Daily Telegraph published a section from Crowe's infamous Book of Feuds - a tome, incidentally, which Roosters types would file under 'fiction' - suggesting the Bondi Junction club lacks soul, romance, even tradition.

The chapter finishes quoting that infamous banner which, unfurled inside The Burrow for these rivalry matches, simply proclaims: Forever In Our Shadow.

Crowe took aim at the Roosters earlier this week.
Crowe took aim at the Roosters earlier this week.

Now, however, Cordner has hit back - adamant his foundation club not only has a longer history than Souths, but one which wonderfully exists unbroken.

The Bunnies, of course, were famously kicked out of the league in 1999 and then spent two long winters in sporting purgatory.

Quizzed on the Book of Feuds, the NSW Origin captain insisted that, under Roosters coach Trent Robinson, the current Tricolours squad had spent many hours discussing and understanding the club's proud history.

"As Roosters players, we know our worth," Cordner told The Daily Telegraph. "And we know the proud history that we're representing whenever we play.

"Since Robbo (coach Trent Robinson) first came on board, he's always stressed that we're nothing without our past.

Cordner has been involved in some ding dong battles against the Roosters. Picture by Mark Evans.
Cordner has been involved in some ding dong battles against the Roosters. Picture by Mark Evans.

"And I can tell you our current players fully respect those who have come before us. We know we're just the current holders of this jersey - and that, as a result, we have to leave things in a better place than how we found them.

"So we're not worried about what anyone else says.

"We know our history. Know what this club has achieved over 110 years.

"And we're incredibly proud of that."

Across at Redfern, meanwhile, Souths legend Mario Fenech has been a regular at Bunnies training this week, reminding the club's newer players about exactly what this oldest of rivalries means.

"Mario, he's been coming up to me, yeah," centre Dane Gagai revealed. "He's pretty old school … just says can we please beat them.

Who will take the bragging rights? Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images.
Who will take the bragging rights? Photo by Renee McKay/Getty Images.

"He's a legend of the club and a legend of the game.

"It's always great when those old guys come down. You want to make them proud because they've worn that jersey before and, with Mario, obviously did a great job.

"I'm pretty new to this rivalry but it's going to be a great atmosphere.

"Everyone is talking about it.

"Melbourne have been the team to beat for so many years but we truly believe we're up there with them. We respect the teams we're up against but we also know what we can do."



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