Corey Oates has forgiven James Roberts for the elbow to his head on Friday night and is salivating over a possible finals rematch with Souths, a clash he said would be "the best thing for the NRL".
The war of words between Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and Souths assistant Jason Demetriou that preceded the Rabbitohs' 22-20 win over the Broncos had interest in the game at fever pitch.
The players delivered on the hype in one of the best games of the season but Roberts took his aggression against his former club a step too far when he laid into Oates while he was laying on the ground after almost scoring in the corner.
Roberts copped a two-week suspension for his trouble but will be available the first week of the finals for another showdown should Souths and the Broncos finish fifth and eighth on the ladder, as they currently are positioned.
Oates, who confirmed Roberts apologised to him during the second half, thought his former teammate may have been upset at his exit from the Broncos.
"It might have been what happened here. Obviously he didn’t leave the way he wanted to. We’ll leave it there and move on," Oates said of Roberts' possible motivation for the elbow.
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"I can’t say it didn’t hurt but I’ll leave it at that. It is a game of footy. Things happen in the heat of the moment. He was probably up for the game and went to the game with a bit of aggression, and showed a bit of aggression on the night.
"He said sorry after it. I am not the sort of person to hold a grudge or go on about it. It is a game of footy and you get elbowed and put on your head. Things happen. People don’t intentionally go out to hurt people."
Roberts and Oates could well clash again in the first week of the finals if the Broncos can beat the Eels at home and Bulldogs away in the next fortnight.
"It would be great. I suppose it would be like last week, the biggest talk of the week. I’m sure if that is the way it panned out it would be the best thing for the NRL that week. All anyone talked about was us playing them," Oates said.
"It could be one of those things everyone grabs onto and makes a big occasion. If we can have that spectacle every weekend it would go a great way to growing the game and make it a lot more interesting. A lot more people would watch it.
"We’ve got to get there first and get the job done this weekend and next weekend. It is up to us. We’ve made it hard for ourselves but we’ve been doing that all year so it is nothing really new for us."
Renegotiating contracts is also not new for the off-contract Maroons representative after he signed one-year deals the past two seasons. He said he was confident his manager George Mimis would secure a longer-term at Brisbane deal this time.
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"I hope so. The one-years are not fun. It doesn't really make you feel secure or anything, you still don't know where you are going to be the next year after that," Oates said.
"To get a long term deal would be great to be honest with you. It's moving forward at the moment but ... I just want to make the finals, that is my main goal for the rest of the year."
The last time Brisbane faced the Eels, he had a shocker as the Broncos were thrashed.
"It’s massive. They turned it on against us last game and it wasn't my best game either. I have picked up my game since that one. It is one that I never ever want to go back to," Oates said.