Five-eighth Cody Walker says he and fullback Latrell Mitchell made a concerted effort not to engage in the on-field chaos during South Sydney's NRL elimination final defeat of the Sydney Roosters.
The Rabbitohs' arch rivals have made a habit of devoting extra attention to Walker and Mitchell, hoping to unsettle the pair's emotions.
Earlier this year, Walker refused to shake hands with Cronulla forward Cameron McInnes after a tense golden point loss, while Penrith targeted Walker with sledges in last year's grand final.
Mitchell, meanwhile, had one of his quieter games since returning from injury when he was repeatedly booed by the crowd in Souths' round 25 loss to the Roosters.
Seven players were sin-binned in Sunday's fiery return bout - which featured a bevy of cheap shots and dangerous tackles - but Walker and Mitchell were not among those banished.
Walker said ahead of the match that the pair had resolved to focus on football, not on the blow-ups that could agitate them.
"Both of us are aware that teams are going to try and bait us or do that sort of stuff," Walker told reporters.
"It's about us being mature and not falling into that type of game and playing our style of footy.
"I thought that's what we did last night."
The strategy paid off.
Walker set up four of the Rabbitohs' five tries in a man-of-the-match performance.
Mitchell scored the four-pointer that gave the Rabbitohs the lead at half-time and had a hand in the try that opened the scoring.
The pair's footy-first strategy was especially influential in calming the Rabbitohs down when they lost two men to the sin bin on two separate occasions.
"It was quite chaotic out there, there wasn't much you could do with 11 players on the field," Walker said.
"You just have to get through your sets and try to hold the ball for long periods to try and get the boys on the field as quickly as possible."