Sydney Roosters recruit Angus Crichton has spoken out about his former teammate’s brutal sledge in Friday night’s fiery loss to Rabbitohs.
Crichton says he’s unfazed by Cody Walker’s “traitor” barb, describing the age-old hatred between the two clubs as good for the NRL.
Walker launched a verbal attack against the Roosters back-rower in the Rabbitohs’ opening-round win in what was Crichton’s first game against his old side.
Yet another chapter was written in Souths’ owner Russell Crowe’s Book of Feuds when the NSW Origin forward moved to the reigning premiers from the Bunnies.
And the feelings between the two were on show in Walker’s spray, which resulted in a confrontation between the South Sydney half and Cooper Cronk.
Crichton described it as water off a duck’s back and said the passion that fuels the rivalry between the two foundation clubs was what made rugby league tick.
“Nothing really surprises me these days, obviously it’s a bit of a fiery clash and it’s a massive rivalry there and I think the passion from the fans is what makes that rivalry so strong,” Crichton said.
“That passion really builds that game up and it doesn’t faze me too much. It adds excitement to the game.”
When he announced his signing with the Roosters in December 2017, he had vitriol directed against him by Rabbitohs fans, despite still having a season left at Redfern.
And he said that experience steeled him for the reception he received at the SCG on Friday night.
“I just heard booing every time my face was up (on the screen) but I guess that’s just how it goes,” Crichton said.
“It might have rattled me at first when I announced that I was leaving.
“I was copping a bit of flak when I was still playing for Souths but now I’m pretty used to it. Going through that gives you a bit of a thick skin.”
The incident sets the stage for a blockbuster return match between the two sides in September.
Crichton said he still had good friends at the Rabbitohs despite tempers running high in the clash.
“It was a bit different … a lot of familiar faces, I have a lot of mates, good friends there playing in that side,” Crichton said.
“That was a bit of a strange one, especially straight off the bat. But I’m happy that we got that game done and we’re looking forward to our next clash against them.”