They were good friends at the Canberra Raiders but all bets will be off when Burleigh skipper Luke Page and Wynnum-Manly captain Mitch Cronin face off in the Intrust Super Cup grand final on Sunday.
Barnstorming Bears prop Page has promised to run straight at crafty Seagulls hooker Cronin at Dolphin Stadium and fireworks are guaranteed.
Page has unleashed fireworks before, most famously while playing for Canberra feeder club the Mounties against Manly when a series of trademark runs sent opponents flying and led to a video clip that attracted thousands of hits on the internet.
"I remember him playing that game against Manly when he skittled a few people and knocked them out. Then there was a You Tube clip made of him that went viral and every day for about a week all the boys were talking about it. It just took off and then he got a contract with the Dragons," Cronin said.
"I’m still pretty good mates with Pagey after we were at Canberra and played at the Mounties.
"He enjoys running at me a fair bit so it should be a good contest on Sunday.
"Whenever Burleigh needs someone to step up and get the ball out of trouble and run hard he is always putting his hand up. It just lifts his team. He loves these big games and the challenge."
Page is well aware that Cronin is the Seagulls' lynchpin and tiring him out will be high on his agenda.
"I first met Cronin down in Canberra in 2014 and we hit it off. He is a really good mate of mine but I am really looking forward to running over the top of him on Sunday,” Page said.
"He is in the middle and I am in the middle so it is inevitable. It is always good to get one over your mate and I am looking forward to doing that, but Cronin is just so cool.
"When the game was getting heated last time we played them he took control out of dummy half."
The grand final will be broadcast live on Channel Nine where 2003 NRL premiership winner Scott Sattler will be one of the callers.
Sattler has long admired Page’s enthusiasm, passion and tenacity.
"Everyone knows about my man crush on Luke Page, and Luke knows too. When you hear me commentate it is quite evident that I think highly of this guy, not just as a player but as a human being because he is a very special guy off the field," Sattler said.
"He is the barometer of how Burleigh performs. If Wynnum-Manly want to win the game they have got to chop Luke Page in half.
"What I have loved about Luke this year, and he did this in the preliminary final against Sunshine Coast Falcons, is that he has introduced a pass before the line and he got three away against the Falcons.
"The attributes he has added to his game will make it harder for Wynnum to control him."
The 27-year-old Cronin, who was once in the Broncos system, has the game smarts of a top-notch hooker and has been integral in the Seagulls surge to the decider.
"What I love about Mitch Cronin is his craftiness and he has gone to another level since he was selected in the Queensland Residents side this year," Sattler said.
"A lot of other players have tried to keep up with him but he just seems to be one step ahead of everyone else. If Cronin’s forward pack is not winning the battle in the middle he tries to find other ways to get momentum, and that is what the crafty hookers do."
The Seagulls last won an Intrust Super Cup title in 2012 when Paul Green was coach.
The club has a rich history which was reinforced last month when former greats Wally Lewis and Gene Miles spoke to the playing group about what it meant to them to play for the club. It was a speech that inspired Cronin and his teammates to not let Sunday’s opportunity slip.
Page was an integral member of Burleigh’s 2016 premiership win and wants to taste success again as skipper.
"This is huge. To be a premiership-winning captain would be outstanding and something I would hold dearly forever," Page said.
"The season is done and it is now about how you handle the big occasion, and whoever is the best on the day is going to get the chocolates."