Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe commissioned the book which has infuriated the Sea Eagles.
Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe commissioned the book which has infuriated the Sea Eagles.

‘Eye-gouging, brawling and stealing our star players’

SOUTH Sydney have reignited their fierce rivalry with Manly, declaring the Sea ­Eagles "unashamedly stand for privilege and position" and have a "born-to-rule mentality."

In a move that has infuriated the Sea Eagles ahead of tomorrow's clash at ANZ Stadium, and prompted Manly's godfather to label the claims "bullshit", the Rabbitohs have dusted off their famous Book of Feuds and sent explosive excerpts about Manly to all 27,000 club members, as well as prominently placing them on Souths' website.

"We have been tougher and harder than them whenever it really mattered," the excerpt begins.

"Whatever high-and-mighty position they might think they are born into, out on the football field they've got nowhere to hide."

The Rabbitohs have accused the Sea Eagles of being men of privelege.
The Rabbitohs have accused the Sea Eagles of being men of privelege.

The Book of Feuds, commissioned by Souths co-owner Russell Crowe and written by Mark Courtney, labels Manly the "old enemy" and states the two clubs have a "brutal rivalry".

"Broken bones, eye-­gouging, brawling and stealing our star players," one passage reads.

"

The Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles have always enjoyed a fierce rivalry.
The Rabbitohs and Sea Eagles have always enjoyed a fierce rivalry.

The cultures of South Sydney and Manly are starkly opposed and there are few clubs we enjoy beating more.

"Traditionally, South ­Sydney represent the working class, while Manly unashamedly stand for privilege and position.

"When we take them on, we take on more than a ­football team. We take on their whole 'born-to-rule' mentality."

Sea Eagles godfather Ken Arthurson fired back last night, labelling Souths "jealous" of Manly's position and saying all he would like to swap with Crowe was his "bank balances".

The controversial excerpts claim Manly cannot "handle the truth" about South Sydney's glorious success.

"Manly hate us too, do they? Well, so they should," it read. "Because, deep down, they know the truth. And deep down, they can't handle the truth.

"The truth is, throughout our history, we have been tougher and harder than them whenever it really ­mattered.

"That's when we prove to them that, whatever high-and-mighty position they might think they are born into, out on the football field they've got nowhere to hide.

Rabbitohs captain John Sattler (left) is hit with a forearm to the head by John Bucknall during a Souths v Manly in 1970.
Rabbitohs captain John Sattler (left) is hit with a forearm to the head by John Bucknall during a Souths v Manly in 1970.

"For a decade (in the 1960s) they couldn't compete with us - winning just three times in 24 matches and losing two grand finals to us."

There is an accompanying video on Souths' website that shows classic ­moments between the two clubs.

There is vision of Manly forward John Bucknall smashing John Sattler's jaw in the 1970 grand final.

Asked if Manly players were from a privileged background, Arthurson said: "It's all bullshit. Nothing could be further from the truth."



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