Manly coach Anthony Seibold credits current Wallabies boss Eddie Jones for helping him bury the hatchet in a feud with Rabbitohs counterpart Jason Demetriou that dated back four years.
Demetriou and Seibold first clashed when the latter beat the former to replace Wayne Bennett as coach of Brisbane in 2019. Having lost out, Demetriou became an assistant under Bennett at the Rabbitohs, where Seibold had coached until he won the Broncos job.
Ahead of the first meeting of the Rabbitohs and the Broncos the following season, Demetriou ignited a war of words by claiming teams had "worked (Seibold's) style out" during a disappointing end to the 2018 finals for South Sydney.
Seibold fired back, questioning whether Demetriou had been left bitter by missing out on a maiden head coaching job.
The pair faced one another again in August 2020, when Demetriou stood in for Bennett while the master coach isolated for 14 days following a COVID-19 breach.
But as they prepare to clash for the first time on an equal footing, both men insist there is no bad blood between them. Seibold said 16 months working under Eddie Jones as defence coach of the England rugby union side had helped him grow and move on.
"One of the people who really helped me with that was Eddie Jones, spending time with Eddie for two years and seeing how he handles things," Seibold said.
"At different times, you could handle things better or differently but I've moved on. All that stuff (with Demetriou) is in the past.
"I've only met Jason once and he seemed like a really good guy, and obviously a really sharp coach."
Demetriou suggested the tiff may have been born out of difficult circumstances. While the current Rabbitohs boss had been disappointed to miss out on a head coaching job, the Broncos regressed during Seibold's two years in charge.
Seibold's sacking came in August 2020 amid the club's worst season on record and a torrent of social media abuse directed at the coach.
"The way the Broncos thing ended, it was an emotional time for all of us," Demetriou said.
"It was brutal in Brisbane. Not only that, but the abuse he copped on the web, for his family as well, no one wants to see that.
"There's a real importance for coaches to have each other's backs. We'll battle it out on game day and we'll want to get one over each other.
"But outside of that, we need to support each other, otherwise we're on our own. It can be a lonely job, head coaching.
"It's good to see him back in NRL coaching."
The match marks Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic's first time clashing as fullbacks and will also provide a chance to honour the legacy of late Rabbitohs great John Sattler, who died this week. "It's not about the coaches in any case, it's always about the players," Seibold said.
"The battle between Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic is something to look forward to, but also the battle of players like Cody Walker, Daly Cherry-Evans, Josh Schuster, Damien Cook."